The Economics of Rebuilding Fisheries

Workshop Proceedings

image of The Economics of Rebuilding Fisheries

Rebuilding fisheries is a key challenge for many countries as some stocks are in a poor state while others are depleted.  In May 2009, economists, biologists, fisheries managers and policy makers participated in an OECD Workshop on the Economics of Rebuilding Fisheries. The workshop was designed to identify and analyse economic uncertainties, policy issues, biological conditions and information constraints, and to review the role of key players in program delivery. This conference proceedings presents an overview of the major economic and institutional issues associated with rebuilding fisheries and provides examples of national and international initiatives.



Economic considerations and methods for evaluating fishery rebuilding strategies

Many fish stocks throughout the world have declined to levels that are believed to reduce their sustainable yield and/or create a risk of economic or even biological collapse. Most OECD nations have legislation and regulations requiring that these “overfished” fisheries be rebuilt -- generally to the biomass levels associated with maximum sustainable yield. The timing of catch reductions and increases during rebuilding and the specific management tools used to achieve those catch targets may have substantially different impacts on the net benefits generated by the fishery during rebuilding and beyond. We discuss some key economic considerations for evaluating rebuilding strategies including how they may affect gross value and harvest costs over time. We discuss a variety of factors that often are not, but perhaps should be, considered when determining rebuilding targets and deadlines including: issues with multispecies fisheries and changes in fishery productivity that may relate to climate cycles or climate change. Finally we discuss how management strategy evaluations can be used to design rebuilding strategies that are robust to uncertainty and address economic and social, as well as biological objectives.


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