Econ 131 lecture 16

Econ 131 lecture 16 - Schedule Today Fisheries After...

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Schedule Today: Fisheries CAPE evaluations online After Thanksgiving Tuesday: Economics of water resources Thursday: Chapter 12 (summary) and policy examples for review Fisheries Similar to forests in some ways: Fish stocks grow naturally and we need to decide how many to catch to maximize the value of the resource
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Fisheries As 15% of global protein intake there are many good reasons for economists and biologists to study them Like forests, they are a renewable resource and there exists a biological optimum: “Maximum sustainable yield” (MSY) Like forests, there is also an economic optimum that involves harvesting less fish Unlike forests, it is due to a production externality that we can examine in an economic model of the fishery Many Fisheries in Trouble
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Sources of Stock Decline Overharvesting Bycatch (more than a third of the catch in most cases) Habitat Harm Harm to coral reefs (breeding area, source of nutrients) Harm to estuaries (reduction in freshwater flows) Water pollution Bycatch Statistics 60,000 whales, dolphins, & porpoises each year Drift nets At peak, ensnared 42 million untargeted fish, marine mammals, and sea birds each year Longlines Can be up to 80 miles long with 3,000 baited hooks Cause of serious declines in swordfish, billfishes, sharks, and sea turtles
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Habitat Harm Coral Reefs Pollution Use of dynamite or cyanide to stun fish Global warming Estuaries Important to 75% of fish caught in U.S. Dams Other reductions in freshwater flows Economics of Fisheries Open access fisheries will be overharvested, resulting in a collapse (e.g. in the pacific tuna fisheries) An economic model can be used to describe the underlying source of the problem, and suggest mechanisms to fix it
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The Bioeconomic Model The “bio” part of the model: Logistic growth Like a production function: effort (economic inputs) and the stock combine to determine catch (economic output)
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