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Maximizing Profits and Conserving Stocks in the Australian Northern Prawn Fishery


  • Tom Kompas et. al.


The Australian Northern Prawn fishery (NPF) is one of the few that has adopted a dynamic version of a ‘maximum economic yield’ (MEY) target, and, on this basis, the fishery is undergoing a process of substantial stock rebuilding. This paper details the bioeconomic model that is used to provide scientific management advice for the NPF, in terms of the amount of allowable total (and tradable) gear length in the fishery, both in terms of the MEY target and the path to MEY. It combines the stock assessment process for two species of tiger prawns (brown and grooved tiger prawns) with a specification for discounted economic profits, where the harvest function in the profit equation is stock dependent. Results for the NPF show a substantial ‘stock effect’, indicating the importance of conserving fish stocks for profitability. MEY thus occurs at a stock size that is larger than that at which maximum sustainable yield is achieved, leading to a ‘win-win’ situation for both the industry (added profitability) and the environment (larger fish stocks and lower impacts on the rest of the ecosystem). Sensitivity results emphasize this effect by showing that the MEY target is much more sensitive to changes in the price of prawns and the cost of fuel, and far less so to the rate of discount.

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  • Tom Kompas et. al., 2008. "Maximizing Profits and Conserving Stocks in the Australian Northern Prawn Fishery," International and Development Economics Working Papers idec08-04, International and Development Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:idc:wpaper:idec08-04

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    1. Tom Kompas & Tuong Nhu Che & R. Quentin Grafton, 2004. "Technical efficiency effects of input controls: evidence from Australia's banana prawn fishery," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(15), pages 1631-1641.
    2. Richard Horan & James Shortle, 1999. "Optimal Management of Multiple Renewable Resource Stocks: An Application to Minke Whales," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 13(4), pages 435-458, June.
    3. Ahmed, Mahfuzuddin & Boonchuwongse, Pongpat & Dechboon, Waraporn & Squires, Dale, 2007. "Overfishing in the Gulf of Thailand: policy challenges and bioeconomic analysis," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(01), pages 145-172, February.
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    1. Da Rocha, José María & Gutiérrez Huerta, María José & Taboada Antelo, Luis, 2011. "Pulse vs. Optimal Stationary Fishing: The Northern Stock of Hake," DFAEII Working Papers 2011-04, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
    2. R. Quentin Grafton & Tom Kompas, 2014. "Three Pillars of Fisheries Policy," Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(3), pages 609-614, September.
    3. Dennis, Darren & Plagányi, Éva & Van Putten, Ingrid & Hutton, Trevor & Pascoe, Sean, 2015. "Cost benefit of fishery-independent surveys: Are they worth the money?," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 108-115.
    4. Thanh Viet Nguyen, 2011. "Sustainable Management of Shrimp Trawl Fishery in Tonkin Gulf, Vietnam," Applied Economics Journal, Kasetsart University, Faculty of Economics, Center for Applied Economic Research, vol. 18(2), pages 65-81, December.
    5. Yamazaki, Satoshi & Jennings, Sarah & Quentin Grafton, R. & Kompas, Tom, 2015. "Are marine reserves and harvest control rules substitutes or complements for rebuilding fisheries?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-18.
    6. José-María Da-Rocha & Rosa Mato-Amboage, 2016. "On the Benefits of Including Age-Structure in Harvest Control Rules," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 64(4), pages 619-641, August.
    7. Caputi, Nick & de Lestang, Simon & Reid, Chris & Hesp, Alex & How, Jason, 2015. "Maximum economic yield of the western rock lobster fishery of Western Australia after moving from effort to quota control," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 452-464.
    8. Stephanie McWhinnie & Kofi Otumawu-Apreku, 2013. "The Role of Fixed Cost and Non-Discretionary Variables in Fisheries: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," School of Economics Working Papers 2013-14, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.

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