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The development of models for sustainable fisheries

by Batstone, Christopher John

Abstract (Summary)
In 1986 the New Zealand system of fisheries management was reformed. The Quota Management System (QMS) augmented the existing input control regulatory instruments with a system of output controls: individual transferable quota (ITQ). This thesis examines a number of aspects of the QMS in the context of a case study of the SNA1 snapper fishery. The QMS model is contrasted with a dynamic optimization model of rights based fishing which shows the effectiveness of ITQ systems in resolving the open access problem and that proportional share ITQ prices potentially contain information about the biological and economic state of a fishery. Departures of the QMS from the theoretical model are noted, particularly the allocation mechanism, the continued application of open access input control apparatus, and the basis of total allowable catch definition. Input control is considered in a bioeconomic model of the Hauraki Gulf sub-stock of the SNA1 fishery that features a sea surface temperature recruitment sub-model. Changes to the minimum legal size regulation (MLS) and the effect of differing inter-temporal recruitment structures on rent generation are evaluated. The biological and economic inefficiency of size regulation and the unequal distribution of risk between sectors in this fishery under the current management regime are demonstrated. The potential role for discount rates as performance indicators is shown. An intra-cohort stock externality due to growth overfishing is evident. The productive capacity of the SNA1 fishery system is presently not fully utilized. Output control is examined through time series analyses of prices in SNA1 ITQ markets. To date government has relied on the results of stock assessment research when setting the allowable harvest and monitoring the performance of fisheries policy. Excessive reliance on biological data, in particular modelling outputs, has attracted criticism. An alternative, a minimum information system uses information contained in quota prices as indicators of the biological and economic health of a fishery. SNA1 quota ownership and lease markets are found to exhibit the characteristics of weak form efficiency. Prices reflect expected rents in the fishery. However, at this stage of their development prices also reflect firms' uncertainty over expectations of fishery management agency behavior. Concern has been expressed that ITQ systems may be compromised by market failure through the exercise of market power. Evidence of market power is found in the SNA1 market for ITQ lease title. Explicit non-commercial quota, a review of the effectiveness of remnant pre-QMS regulatory instruments, and a substantial role for economic information in the total allowable catch setting process and as performance indicators form the basis of recommendations for policy.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Basil Sharp; John Montgomery; Brian McArdle

School:The University of Auckland / Te Whare Wananga o Tamaki Makaurau

School Location:New Zealand

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:fields of research 270000 biological sciences 270700 ecology and evolution 270702 marine estuarine incl ichthyology

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/1999

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