Article

Recovering viable fisheries

02/2006;
Source: RePEc

ABSTRACT This paper develops a formal analysis of the recovery processes for a fishery, from undesired to desired levels of sustainable exploitation, using the theoretical framework of viability control. We define sustainability in terms of biological, economic and social constraints which need to be met for a viable fishery to exist. Biological constraints are based on the definition of a minimal resource stock to be preserved. Economic constraints relate to the existence of a minimum profit per vessel. Social constraints refer to the maintenance of a minimum size of the fleet, and to the maximum speed at which fleet adjustment can take place. Using fleet size and fishing effort per vessel as control variables, we identify the states of this bioeconomic system for which sustainable exploitation is possible, i.e. for which all constraints are dynamically met. Such favorable states are called viable states. We then examine possible transition phases, from non-viable to viable states. We characterize recovery paths, wih respect to the economic and social costs of limiting catches during the recovery period, and to the duration of this transition period. Sensitivity of each of the constraints to transition costs and time are analyzed. The analysis is applied to a single stock fishery; preliminary results of an empirical application to the bay of Biscay nephrops fishery are presented.

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