Fishery Resources and Trade Openness: Evidence from Turkey
There is an ongoing debate over the potential effects of international trade on fishery resources. In this study, we investigate whether the trade in fish and fish products contributed to the decline in a given number of fish species in Turkey. The overall purpose is to test the theoretical findings of Brander and Taylor (1997) who argue that trade openness decreases fish harvest in a small open economy characterized by a regime of open-access to fishery resources. To this end, we estimate a panel data model to measure the effects of trade openness on fish harvests in the case of 57 fish species observed from 1996 to 2009 in Turkey. We estimate Turkish fish harvests in terms of the relative importance of openness to trade as well as in terms of biological characteristics, in addition to economic and technological factors. Estimation results reveal a backward-bending supply curve for the fish harvest. Furthermore, we find that the indicator of openness to trade has a significant and positive impact on the fish harvest. Our results suggest that further openness to trade would put additional pressure on Turkey’s already declining fishery resources.
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