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Designing a Cost-Effective Marine Reserve Network: A Bioeconomic Metapopulation Analysis


  • Sanchirico, James N.


Marine reserves are gaining attention around the world as a tool to both conserve ocean resources and improve the productivity of fisheries. Using simulation analysis, we investigate in a limited-entry fishery comprising nine subpopulations the inherent bioeconomic trade-offs associated with cost-effective designs of marine reserve networks' that is, the trade-offs between the degree of connectedness of a site and the biological and economic heterogeneity. We find in many cases that closing two low-value patches can result in larger biological gains and lower costs than closing one high-value patch. We also simulate biological productivity effects after creation of a reserve and find that under special conditions, aggregate sustainable rents are maximized with the closing of a portion of the fishable habitat. Finally, we find that the biological gains of implementing a more rationalized management system can outweigh the gains from closing multiple subpopulations under open access.

Suggested Citation

  • Sanchirico, James N., 2003. "Designing a Cost-Effective Marine Reserve Network: A Bioeconomic Metapopulation Analysis," Discussion Papers 10624, Resources for the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:rffdps:10624
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.10624

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sanchirico, James N. & Wilen, James E., 2001. "A Bioeconomic Model of Marine Reserve Creation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 257-276, November.
    2. Robert G. Haight & Charles S. Revelle & Stephanie A. Snyder, 2000. "An Integer Optimization Approach to a Probabilistic Reserve Site Selection Problem," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 48(5), pages 697-708, October.
    3. Brown, Gardner, Jr, 1974. "An Optimal Program for Managing Common Property Resources with Congestion Externalities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 163-173, Jan.-Feb..
    4. Smith, Martin D. & Wilen, James E., 2003. "Economic impacts of marine reserves: the importance of spatial behavior," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 183-206, September.
    5. Pezzey, John C. V. & Roberts, Callum M. & Urdal, Bjorn T., 2000. "A simple bioeconomic model of a marine reserve," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 77-91, April.
    6. Farrow, Scott, 1996. "Marine protected areas: emerging economics," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 439-446, November.
    7. Smith, Vernon L, 1969. "On Models of Commercial Fishing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(2), pages 181-198, March/Apr.
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