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The Effects of Water Quality on Coastal Recreation Flounder Fishing

Listed author(s):
  • Matt Massey
  • Steve Newbold
  • Brad Gentner
Registered author(s):

    This paper describes a bioeconomic model of a coastal recreational fishery that combines standard models of fish population dynamics, recreational catch, and recreation site choice. The population model estimates the influence of water quality on overall fish abundance through the effects of dissolved oxygen (DO) on the survivorship of young juvenile fish. The catch model estimates the influence of fish abundance and water quality on anglers’ average catch rates. The recreation demand model estimates welfare effects and changes in trip demand from changes in catch rates. The bioeconomic model also accounts for the feedback on the fish population through changes in the overall harvest pressure in the recreational fishery on the fish stock. The population model is specified using data on survival and reproduction from the fisheries science literature and government reports, and the model is calibrated using average historic recreational harvest levels in and out of the study area and historic commercial harvest levels for the entire fishery. The catch model is estimated using data on a sample of anglers who fished for summer flounder, data on water quality conditions from 23 water quality monitoring stations, and fishery-independent data on fish abundance collected in bottom trawl surveys, all in Maryland’s coastal bays in 2002. The recreation demand model is estimated using data from a stated choice survey of anglers who fish for summer flounder on the Atlantic coast. The bioeconomic model is used to estimate the aggregate benefits to recreational anglers from several illustrative scenarios of changes in water quality. The results indicate that improving water quality throughout the range of the species could lead to substantial increases in the fish population and associated benefits to recreational anglers from increased catch rates. Water quality improvements confined to Maryland’s coastal bays alone would have much smaller impacts.

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    File Function: First version, 2004
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    Paper provided by National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in its series NCEE Working Paper Series with number 200503.

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    Length: 50 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2004
    Date of revision: Oct 2004
    Handle: RePEc:nev:wpaper:wp200503
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    1. Jakus, Paul M. & Downing, Mark & Bevelhimer, Mark S. & Fly, J. Mark, 1997. "Do Sportfish Consumption Advisories Affect Reservoir Anglers’ Site Choice?," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(02), pages 196-204, October.
    2. David Scrogin & Kevin Boyle & George Parsons & Andrew J. Plantinga, 2004. "Effects of Regulations on Expected Catch, Expected Harvest, and Site Choice of Recreational Anglers," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(4), pages 963-974.
    3. Paul M. Jakus & Dimitrios Dadakas & J. Mark Fly, 1998. "Fish Consumption Advisories: Incorporating Angler-Specific Knowledge, Habits, and Catch Rates in a Site Choice Model," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1019-1024.
    4. Englin, Jeffrey & Lambert, David & Shaw, W. Douglass, 1997. "A Structural Equations Approach to Modeling Consumptive Recreation Demand," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 33-43, May.
    5. Trudy Ann Cameron, 1992. "Combining Contingent Valuation and Travel Cost Data for the Valuation of Nonmarket Goods," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 68(3), pages 302-317.
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