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Productivity Growth and Product Choice in Fisheries: the Case of the Alaskan Pollock Fishery Revisited

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  • Torres, Marcelo de Oliveira
  • Felthoven, Ronald G.

Abstract

Many fisheries worldwide have exhibited marked decreases in profitability and fish stocks during the last few decades as a result of overfishing. However, more conservative, science- and incentive-based management approaches have been practiced in the US federally managed fisheries off Alaska since the mid 1990’s. The Bering Sea pollock fishery is one such fishery and remains one of the world’s largest in both value and volume of landings. In 1998, with the implementation of the American Fisheries Act (AFA) this fishery was converted from a limited access fishery to a rationalized fishery in which fishing quota were allocated to cooperatives who could transfer quotas, facilitate fleet consolidation, and maximize efficiency. The changes in efficiency and productivity growth arising from the change in management regime have been the subject of several studies, a few of which have focused on the large vessels that both catch and process fish onboard (catcher-processors). In this study we modify existing approaches to account for the unique decision making process characterizing catcher-processor’s production technologies. In particular, we focus on sequential decisions regarding what products to produce and the factors that influence productivity once those decisions are made using a multiproduct revenue function. The estimation procedure is based on a latent variable econometric model and departs from and advances previous studies since it deals with the mixed distribution nature of the data. Our productivity growth estimates are consistent with increasing productivity growth since rationalization of the fishery, even in light of large decreases in the pollock stock. These findings suggest that rationalizing fishery incentives can help foster improvements in economic productivity even during periods of diminished biological productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Torres, Marcelo de Oliveira & Felthoven, Ronald G., 2012. "Productivity Growth and Product Choice in Fisheries: the Case of the Alaskan Pollock Fishery Revisited," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124851, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea12:124851
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/124851/files/AAEATorres_Ron.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Environmental Economics and Policy; Productivity Analysis; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy;

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