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Reference Points and Optimal Management in Stochastic Age-Structured Fisheries Models

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  • Da Rocha, José María
  • Gutiérrez Huerta, María José

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to characterize dynamic optimal harvesting trajectories that maximize discounted utility assuming an age-structured population model, in the same line as Tahvonen (2009). The main novelty of our study is that uses as an age-structured population model the standard stochastic cohort framework applied in Virtual Population Analysis for fish stock assessment. This allows us to compare optimal harvesting in a discounted economic context with standard reference points used by fisheries agencies for long term management plans (e.g. Fmsy). Our main findings are the following. First, optimal steady state is characterized and sufficient conditions that guarantees its existence and uniqueness for the general case of n cohorts are shown. It is also proved that the optimal steady state coincides with the traditional target Fmsy when the utility function to be maximized is the yield and the discount rate is zero. Second, an algorithm to calculate the optimal path that easily drives the resource to the steady state is developed. And third, the algorithm is applied to the Northern Stock of hake. Results show that management plans based exclusively on traditional reference targets as Fmsy may drive fishery economic results far from the optimal.

Suggested Citation

  • Da Rocha, José María & Gutiérrez Huerta, María José, 2009. "Reference Points and Optimal Management in Stochastic Age-Structured Fisheries Models," DFAEII Working Papers 2009-02, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehu:dfaeii:6576
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Smith, Martin D. & Zhang, Junjie & Coleman, Felicia C., 2008. "Econometric modeling of fisheries with complex life histories: Avoiding biological management failures," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 265-280, May.
    2. Singh, Rajesh & Weninger, Quinn & Doyle, Matthew, 2006. "Fisheries management with stock growth uncertainty and costly capital adjustment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 582-599, September.
    3. Massey, D. Matthew & Newbold, Stephen C. & Gentner, Brad, 2006. "Valuing water quality changes using a bioeconomic model of a coastal recreational fishery," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 482-500, July.
    4. Nielsen, Max, 2006. "Trade liberalisation, resource sustainability and welfare: The case of East Baltic cod," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 650-664, June.
    5. Kulmala, Soile & Laukkanen, Marita & Michielsens, Catherine, 2008. "Reconciling economic and biological modeling of migratory fish stocks: Optimal management of the Atlantic salmon fishery in the Baltic Sea," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(4), pages 716-728, February.
    6. Richard Bellman, 1957. "On a Dynamic Programming Approach to the Caterer Problem--I," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 3(3), pages 270-278, April.
    7. Tahvonen, Olli, 2009. "Economics of harvesting age-structured fish populations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 281-299, November.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    fisheries management; age-structured models; reference point; Fmsy; Fpa; northern stock of hake;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q22 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Fishery

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