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Does the Optimal Size of a Fish Stock Increase with Environmental Uncertainties?

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  • Ute Kapaun

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  • Martin Quaas

Abstract

We analyze the effect of environmental uncertainties on optimal fishery management in a bio-economic fishery model. Unlike most of the literature on resource economics, but in line with ecological models, we allow the different biological processes of survival and recruitment to be affected differently by environmental uncertainties. We show that the overall effect of uncertainty on the optimal size of a fish stock is ambiguous, depending on the prudence of the value function. For the case of a risk-neutral fishery manager, the overall effect depends on the relative magnitude of two opposing effects, the ‘convex-cost effect’ and the ‘gambling effect’. We apply the analysis to the Baltic cod and the North Sea herring fisheries, concluding that for risk neutral agents the net effect of environmental uncertainties on the optimal size of these fish stocks is negative, albeit small in absolute value. Under risk aversion, the effect on optimal stock size is positive for sufficiently high coefficients of constant relative risk aversion. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10640-012-9606-y
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 54 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 293-310

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:54:y:2013:i:2:p:293-310

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100263

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Keywords: Fishery economics; Environmental uncertainty; Constant escapement; Risk aversion; Prudence; Q22; Q57;

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  1. Polasky, Stephen & de Zeeuw, Aart & Wagener, Florian, 2011. "Optimal management with potential regime shifts," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 229-240, September.
  2. Costello, Christopher & Polasky, Stephen, 2008. "Optimal harvesting of stochastic spatial resources," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 1-18, July.
  3. Lone Grønbæk Kronbak, 2002. "The Dynamics of an Open Access: The case of the Baltic Sea Cod Fishery - A Strategic Approach -," Working Papers 31/02, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Environmental and Business Economics.
  4. Aart de Zeeuw & Amos Zemel, 2012. "Regime Shifts and Uncertainty in Pollution Control," CESifo Working Paper Series 3697, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Weitzman, Martin L., 2002. "Landing Fees vs Harvest Quotas with Uncertain Fish Stocks," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 325-338, March.
  6. Sethi, Gautam & Costello, Christopher & Fisher, Anthony C. & Hanemann, W. Michael & Karp, Larry S, 2002. "Fishery management under multiple uncertainty," CUDARE Working Paper Series 929, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy.
  7. Clark, Colin W. & Kirkwood, Geoffrey P., 1986. "On uncertain renewable resource stocks: Optimal harvest policies and the value of stock surveys," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 235-244, September.
  8. Christine Roeckmann & Uwe A. Schneider & Michael A. St.John & Richard S.J. Tol, 2005. "Rebuilding the Eastern Baltic cod stock under environmental change - a preliminary approach using stock, environmental, and management constraints," Working Papers FNU-84, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Dec 2005.
  9. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
  10. Reed, William J., 1979. "Optimal escapement levels in stochastic and deterministic harvesting models," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 350-363, December.
  11. repec:ags:mareec:49175 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Singh, Rajesh & Weninger, Quinn & Doyle, Matthew, 2006. "Fisheries management with stock growth uncertainty and costly capital adjustment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 582-599, September.
  13. repec:ags:mareec:28158 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Steffen Andersen & Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2008. "Eliciting Risk and Time Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(3), pages 583-618, 05.
  15. Christopher Costello & Stephen Polasky & Andrew Solow, 2001. "Renewable resource management with environmental prediction," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(1), pages 196-211, February.
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