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Eco-labeling and dolphin avoidance: A dynamic model of tuna fishing in the Eastern Tropical Pacific

  • Hicks, Robert L.
  • Schnier, Kurt E.

This paper examines the impact of dolphin-safe eco-labeling on the spatial distribution of fishing effort and fishermen's willingness to pay to avoid dolphins using a dynamic discrete choice model applied to the Eastern Tropical Pacific tuna fishery. This estimator couples the contemporaneous expected utility associated with fishing a specific site with the expected value of future optimal behavior for all future location choices on the cruise. We show that producers attempting to avoid dolphins faced a smaller set of viable sites as compared to producers actively targeting dolphins. Thus, the spatial distribution of effort within the fishery was significantly altered following the implementation of "dolphin-safe" tuna labeling in the early 1990s. We also show that vessels attempting to meet the label criteria were willing to pay substantial amounts to increase the spatial distribution of fishing grounds amenable to dolphin avoidance, but a mandatory eco-label would have been quite costly to all fishermen in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean (ETP) compared to the voluntary label implemented in 1990.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Volume (Year): 56 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (September)
Pages: 103-116

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:56:y:2008:i:2:p:103-116
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870

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