Rent dissipation and efficient rationalization in for-hire recreational fishing
Recreational fisheries are increasingly important in fisheries management; for some species, recreational take rivals or exceeds the amount harvested by commercial fishermen. Most recreational fisheries are regulated with gear restrictions, bag limits, and time/area closures, but there is increasing interest in the market-based solutions employed in commercial fisheries -- this despite the lack of an adequate bioeconomic theory of the joint commercial/recreational aspects of many recreational fisheries. This paper integrates a detailed production specification with traditional bioeconomic tools in order to better understand the implications of rationalization schemes targeted at the charter sector. While confirming some of the qualitative conclusions of the commercial fisheries literature on open access and regulated open access our model also generates rich and novel predictions with respect to input choices, the number of vessels and congestion externalities. We devise a system of instruments that generate efficient outcomes and extensively discuss issues associated with their real-world implementation.
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