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Economic impacts of changes in population dynamics of fish on the fisheries in the Barents Sea


  • P. Michael Link
  • Richard S.J. Tol

    () (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)


A bioeconomic simulation model of the two interacting fish species cod (Gadus morhua) and capelin (Mallotus villosus) and their fisheries is presented and applied to assess the consequences of changes in the population dynamics of these important fish stocks in the Barents Sea. In each scenario, the population dynamics of the fish species are changed by an external reduction of the reproductive rates and/or the carrying capacities. The stock sizes and landings of fish are calculated for each fishing period and the net present values of profits from fishing are determined for time periods prior to and after the change in population dynamics. Results show that reduced growth rates or carrying capacities both lead to lower stock levels and consequently to smaller catch sizes. There is only a small short-term economic impact on the fisheries but the long-term consequences are quite pronounced. In some cases, a higher fishing activity in the first few years after the change in population dynamics causes harvest sizes to remain stable despite diminishing stock sizes. This stabilizes the returns from fishing in the short run but veils the apparent negative long-term impact on the fisheries resulting from adversely affected stock dynamics.

Suggested Citation

  • P. Michael Link & Richard S.J. Tol, 2003. "Economic impacts of changes in population dynamics of fish on the fisheries in the Barents Sea," Working Papers FNU-30, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised May 2003.
  • Handle: RePEc:sgc:wpaper:30

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Duncan Knowler, 2002. "A Review of Selected Bioeconomic Models with Environmental Influences in Fisheries," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 163-181, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anthoff, David & Tol, Richard S.J., 2010. "On international equity weights and national decision making on climate change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 14-20, July.
    2. P. Michael Link & Richard S. J. Tol, 2004. "Possible economic impacts of a shutdown of the thermohaline circulation: an application of FUND," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 3(2), pages 99-114, September.

    More about this item


    Barents Sea; bioeconomic modeling; capelin; cod; population dynamics;

    JEL classification:

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


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