Stock Size, Harvesting Costs, and the Potential for Extinction: The Case of Sealing
Starting in the 1960s, considerable opposition to the Canadian and Norwegian harp seal hunt off Newfoundland developed. It was alleged that the seal hunt was unethical and that the seal population had been seriously depleted. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the production function for the seal hunt based on data for the Norwegian seal hunt. Particular attention is paid to the question whether free entry to the fishery will cause overexploitation. This depends critically on the characteristics of the production function, in particular the extent to which harvesting costs depend on stock size.