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Optimal Age- and Gear-specific Harvesting Policies for North-East Arctic Cod


  • Diekert, Florian K.

    () (Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis)

  • Hjermann, Dag Ø.

    (Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis)

  • Nævdal , Eric

    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

  • Stenseth , Nils Chr.

    (Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis)


We examine optimal harvest policies in a multi-cohort, multi-gear bioeconomic model of North-East Arctic cod (Gadus morhua) which includes cannibalism and contains broader ecosystem effects. By controlling the selectivity of the different Fishing equipment, we can partially target different age cohorts. We show that cur- rent gear selectivity implies that the wrong Fish are targeted. Optimization shifts the exploitation pattern towards older and heavier Fish. This increases the harvested biomass while reducing the number of Fish removed from the ocean. The result is a much more robust and abundant cod stock with an age/size distribution closer to the stocks natural state. We optimize the Net Present Value (NPV) generated by the Fishery by letting effort and selectivity be the control variables and and that NPV may be more than doubled, even when only gear selectivity or harvest effort is allowed to vary.

Suggested Citation

  • Diekert, Florian K. & Hjermann, Dag Ø. & Nævdal , Eric & Stenseth , Nils Chr., 2008. "Optimal Age- and Gear-specific Harvesting Policies for North-East Arctic Cod," Memorandum 16/2008, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2008_016

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Homans, Frances R. & Wilen, James E., 2005. "Markets and rent dissipation in regulated open access fisheries," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 381-404, March.
    2. Rognvaldur Hannesson, 1975. "Fishery Dynamics: A North Atlantic Cod Fishery," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 8(2), pages 151-173, May.
    3. Sumaila, U.R., 1997. "Strategic Dynamic Interaction: The Case of Barents Sea Fisheries," Norway; Department of Economics, University of Bergen 172, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
    4. Ussif Sumaila, 1997. "Cooperative and Non-Cooperative Exploitation of the Arcto-Norwegian Cod Stock," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 10(2), pages 147-165, September.
    5. Hannesson, Rögnvaldur, 2007. "Cheating about the cod," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 698-705, November.
    6. Hannesson, Rognvaldur, 1997. "Fishing as a Supergame," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 309-322, March.
    7. Spulber, Daniel F., 1983. "Pulse-fishing and stochastic equilibrium in the multicohort fishery," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 309-332, September.
    8. Ragnar Arnason & Leif K. Sandal & Stein Ivar Steinshamn & Niels Vestergaard, 2004. "Optimal Feedback Controls: Comparative Evaluation of the Cod Fisheries in Denmark, Iceland, and Norway," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(2), pages 531-542.
    9. Wilen, James E., 2000. "Renewable Resource Economists and Policy: What Differences Have We Made?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 306-327, May.
    10. Claire W. Armstrong & Ussif Rashid Sumaila, 2001. "Optimal Allocation of TAC and the Implications of Implementing an ITQ Management System for the North-East Arctic Cod," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 77(3), pages 350-359.
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    More about this item


    Bioeconomics; North-East Arctic cod: Age-structure; Gear selectivity; Optimal harvest policies;

    JEL classification:

    • A10 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - General

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