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Uncertain Biomass Shift and Collapse: Implications for Harvest Policy in the Fishery


  • Robert J. Johnston
  • Jon G. Sutinen


This paper addresses uncertain biomass shifts in renewable resources. A biomass shift occurs when a dominant renewable resource stock collapses and its ecosystem niche is filled by a replacement species which increases in abundance after the initial collapse. This paper develops a bioeconomic model for a fishery subject to random biomass shift. Optimal policy for three causes of biomass shift-environmental perturbation, overfishing, and a combination of these two factors-is derived and compared to optimal policy when the risk of biomass shift is not present. For each cause of biomass shift, the model allows for a valued and non-valued replacement species.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert J. Johnston & Jon G. Sutinen, 1996. "Uncertain Biomass Shift and Collapse: Implications for Harvest Policy in the Fishery," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(4), pages 500-518.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:72:y:1996:i:4:p:500-518

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    Cited by:

    1. Barkley Rosser, J. Jr., 2001. "Complex ecologic-economic dynamics and environmental policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 23-37, April.
    2. Bulte, Erwin H., 2003. "Open access harvesting of wildlife: the poaching pit and conservation of endangered species," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 27-37, January.
    3. Diwakar Poudel & Leif K. Sandal & Sturla F. Kvamsdal, 2015. "Stochastically Induced Critical Depensation and Risk of Stock Collapse," Marine Resource Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(3), pages 297-313.
    4. Audrey Laporte & Brian Ferguson, 2007. "Investment in health when health is stochastic," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(2), pages 423-444, April.
    5. Poudel, Diwakar & Sandal, Leif K. & Kvamsdal, Sturla F., 2012. "Analyzing Risk of Stock Collapse in a Fishery under Stochastic Profit Maximization," Discussion Papers 2012/4, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    6. Duncan Knowler, 2002. "A Review of Selected Bioeconomic Models with Environmental Influences in Fisheries," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 163-181, May.

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