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Species diversity, fishing induced change in carrying capacity and sustainable fisheries management


  • Akpalu, Wisdom
  • Bitew, Worku T.


It is well established in the fisheries management literature that marine ecosystems are complex and marine species depend on one another. As a result, it is important to account for species diversity to ensure sustainable management. In addition, recent research published in the marine sciences literature has provided unequivocal evidence that fishing activities destroy habitats and inhibit production of planktons. This paper illustrates that if a conventional bioeconomic model is employed, an optimum effort policy as opposed to quota appears to result in sustainable management even if fishing impacts carrying capacity. However, the so-called optimum effort may collapse the stock if species diversity is not accounted for. Conversely, if species diversity and the impact of fishing on carrying capacity are considered, neither the equilibrium quota nor effort may guarantee sustainable yield.

Suggested Citation

  • Akpalu, Wisdom & Bitew, Worku T., 2011. "Species diversity, fishing induced change in carrying capacity and sustainable fisheries management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(7), pages 1336-1343, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:7:p:1336-1343

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sanchirico, James & Wilen, James, 1998. "Marine Reserves: Is There a Free Lunch?," Discussion Papers dp-99-09, Resources For the Future.
    2. Sterner, Thomas, 2007. "Unobserved diversity, depletion and irreversibility The importance of subpopulations for management of cod stocks," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2-3), pages 566-574, March.
    3. Barbier, Edward B., 2000. "Valuing the environment as input: review of applications to mangrove-fishery linkages," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 47-61, October.
    4. Akpalu, Wisdom, 2009. "Economics of biodiversity and sustainable fisheries management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(10), pages 2729-2733, August.
    5. Edward B. Barbier, 2003. "Habitat-Fishery Linkages And Mangrove Loss In Thailand," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(1), pages 59-77, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Quérou, N. & Tomini, A., 2013. "Managing interacting species in unassessed fisheries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 192-201.
    2. Wisdom Akpalu & Worku T. Bitew, 2017. "Externalities and foreign capital in aquaculture production in developing countries," WIDER Working Paper Series 001, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Richard W. Ryan & Daniel S. Holland & Guillermo E. Herrera, 2014. "Ecosystem Externalities in Fisheries," Marine Resource Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 39-53.
    4. Akpalu, Wisdom, 2013. "Foreign Aid and Sustainable Fisheries Management in Sub-Saharan Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 100, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. repec:eee:ecolec:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:359-369 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Wisdom Akpalu & Worku Bitew, 2014. "Optimum reserve size, fishing induced change in carrying capacity, and phenotypic diversity," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 289-304, October.


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