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Defining viable recovery paths toward sustainable fisheries


  • Martinet, Vincent
  • Thebaud, Olivier
  • Doyen, Luc


This article develops a formal analysis of the recovery process for a fishery, from crisis situations to desired levels of sustainable exploitation, using the theoretical framework of viable control. The authors define sustainability as a combination of biological, economic and social constraints which need to be met for a viable fishery to exist. Biological constraints are based on the definition of a minimum resource stock to be preserved. Economic constraints relate to the existence of a guaranteed profit per vessel. Social constraints refer to the maintenance of aminimumsize of the fleet, and to themaximumspeed at which fleet adjustment can take place. Using fleet size adjustment and fishing effort per vessel as control variables, they first identify the states of this bioeconomic system for which sustainable exploitation is possible, i.e. for which all constraints can be dynamically met. Such favorable states are called viable states. The authors then examine possible transition phases, from non-viable to viable states. They characterize recovery paths with respect to the time of crisis of the trajectory, which is the number of periods during which the constraints are not respected. The approach is applied to the single stock of the bay of Biscay Nephrops fishery. The transition path identified through the viability approach is compared to the historical recovery process, and to both openaccess and optimal harvesting scenarios.
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  • Martinet, Vincent & Thebaud, Olivier & Doyen, Luc, 2007. "Defining viable recovery paths toward sustainable fisheries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 411-422, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:64:y:2007:i:2:p:411-422

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Martinet, V. & Doyen, L., 2007. "Sustainability of an economy with an exhaustible resource: A viable control approach," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 17-39, January.
    2. Trond Bjorndal & Jon M. Conrad, 1987. "The Dynamics of an Open Access Fishery," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 20(1), pages 74-85, February.
    3. L. Doyen & C Bene, 2003. "Sustainability of fisheries through marine reserves: a robust modeling analysis," Post-Print hal-00716683, HAL.
    4. Christophe Béné & Luc Doyen, 2000. "Storage and Viability of a Fishery with Resource and Market Dephased Seasonalities," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 15(1), pages 1-26, January.
    5. Clark, Colin W. & Munro, Gordon R., 1975. "The economics of fishing and modern capital theory: A simplified approach," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 92-106, December.
    6. Homans, Frances R. & Wilen, James E., 1997. "A Model of Regulated Open Access Resource Use," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 1-21, January.
    7. H. Scott Gordon, 1954. "The Economic Theory of a Common-Property Resource: The Fishery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 124-124.
    8. Smith, Vernon L, 1969. "On Models of Commercial Fishing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(2), pages 181-198, March/Apr.
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