The Cost of U.S. Cetacean Bycatch Reduction Measures as a Reason for Supporting International Action

by Griffin, Elizabeth

Abstract (Summary)
Due to requirements under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA)and the Endangered Species Act (ESA),U.S. fishermen are required to take measures to reduce cetacean bycatch. However, the U.S. imports fisheries products from countries that have significant cetacean bycatch problems which fisherman are not required to mitigate. I examined case studies of the California/Oregon drift gillnet, American lobster and Atlantic cod fisheries to demonstrate the costs of U.S. cetacean bycatch reductions and their economic affect. The cost of cetacean bycatch reduction in the California/Oregon drift gillnet fishery represents 1.9 - 4.5% of the fishery's total ex-vessel value. The annual cost to the lobster fishery is 0.7 - 6.3% of the industry's value and 3.3% - 13.3% of the ex-vessel landings value of an Atlantic cod vessel using sink gillnets is going to cetacean bycatch mitigation. U.S. fishermen face a competitive disadvantage because they have to bear the costs for mitigating cetacean bycatch while their foreign competitors do not. The U.S. is importing products from foreign fisheries with serious bycatch problems. Foreign products are in direct competition with U.S. domestic in which U.S. fishermen have borne substantial costs to mitigate cetacean bycatch. The only way to protect marine mammals and maintain a competitive global fisheries market is to take action on an international level to reduce cetacean bycatch. To do this, influential countries like the U.S. need to support international negotiations and cooperation.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Read, Andrew J.

School:Duke University

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:cetaceans bycatch fisheries united states of america usa marine mammal protection act mmpa endangered species esa policy


Date of Publication:01/01/2003

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