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Whale-watching and Herring Fishing: Joint or Independent Production?


  • Lee, Min-Yang A.


The effects of "localized depletion" of a pelagic fishery (herring) on a non-extractive marine activity (tourism) are investigated. Proponents of the localized depletion theory claim that intense fishing effort can lead to areas that are unsuitable for predators like tuna, groundfish, and whales. This leads to poor outcomes for the fishing and whale-watching industries. However, there has been no consensus in the scientific community about the existence of this phenomenon. Localized depletion would be consistent with an economic theory of joint production, in which nearshore herring stocks are an input in production of both herring and whale-watching trips. A unique dataset of daily whale-watching outcomes is combined with fishing effort and oceanographic data. This dataset is used to test the hypothesis that intensive fishing effort increases the search time of whale-watching companies. Our results suggest that while fishing has a statistically significant impact on sightings, this magnitude of this effect is fairly small. Sightings seem to be determined mostly by large scale oceanographic processes. These results should be of interest to policymakers in determining future fishing regulations.

Suggested Citation

  • Lee, Min-Yang A., 2008. "Whale-watching and Herring Fishing: Joint or Independent Production?," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6086, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea08:6086

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kathryn D. Bisack & Jon G. Sutinen, 2006. "Harbor Porpoise Bycatch: ITQs or Time/Area Closures in the New England Gillnet Fishery," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 82(1), pages 85-102.
    2. Ragozin, David L. & Brown, Gardner Jr., 1985. "Harvest policies and nonmarket valuation in a predator -- prey system," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 155-168, June.
    3. Hoekstra, Jeljer & van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2005. "Harvesting and conservation in a predator-prey system," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1097-1120, June.
    4. Squires, Dale & Kirkley, James, 1991. "Production quota in multiproduct pacific fisheries," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 109-126, September.
    5. Hannesson, Rognvaldur, 1983. "Optimal harvesting of ecologically interdependent fish species," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 329-345, December.
    6. J.J. Agar & J.G. Sutinen, 2004. "Rebuilding Strategies for Multispecies Fisheries: A Stylized Bioeconomic Model," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 28(1), pages 1-29, May.
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    More about this item


    whales; fishing; panel data; search; Ecosystem Based Management; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy; Q57; Q26; Q22;

    JEL classification:

    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics
    • Q26 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Recreational Aspects of Natural Resources
    • Q22 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Fishery

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