Evaluating effort regulation in mixed fisheries: a Monte Carlo approach
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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This paper evaluates whether effort regulation could achieve the goal of protecting low-abundance species in mixed fisheries. We construct a two-species bio-economic model and compare the stock abundance ratio in the end of the fishing season with the ratio prior to the fishing. Fishers’ profit maximization problem is governed by three key factors: (i) the overall efficiency of catching different species (catchability), (ii) the price of different species, and (iii) their ability to catch the favoured species separately from the less-favoured species (separability). Using a Monte Carlo sampling of feasible parameters space, we show that effort regulation has good chances (87% of the cases) of maintaining the end stock ratio near equal levels (1/2< stock ratio <2) when the initial stock ratio is equal. If the initial stock ratio is not equal, however, there is a high risk (about 50% of the cases) that effort control increases differences in the relative species abundances, rather than diminishing them. The effects depend on whether the key factors determining fishing profitability are counteracting or reinforcing each other, and their relative strength. Our results warn against placing too much faith on the ability of effort regulation to protect species at low abundances from excessive exploitation.
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