Using Outcomes from Marine Protected Area Implementation to Infer Potential Socioeconomic Consequences of Offshore Energy Development to Commercial Fisheries

Grant Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Most commercial fishery sectors will be excluded from outer continental shelf (OCS) leases when development of floating wind or marine hydrokinetic energy occurs. The potential socioeconomic consequences of these closures represent a challenge to understand, predict and mitigate them due to a variety of factors, including the confidentiality of fishing data and the challenge of determining what an appropriate control might be in an experimental design. Enhancing the predictive capacity of managers to determine the scope of potential impacts from offshore energy to other users of the OCS will have widespread utility and aid BOEM in identifying potential lease areas, informing National Environmental Policy Act documents, designing appropriate mitigation measures, and communicating with stakeholders, including affected state governments and renewable energy task forces. The objective of this study is to describe the detectable socioeconomic consequences experienced by the commercial fishing industry from implementing marine protected areas. Researchers will first identify socioeconomic indicators most likely to be useful to measure potential effects of prospective offshore wind energy developments in the Pacific, and include commercial, recreational, and tribal sectors. Sources of data to determine relevant indicators will be existing literature, case studies of current Offshore Wind Facilities and their outcomes, and analogs of offshore closures (e.g., military activities, MPAs, offshore conventional energy, offshore aquaculture, etc.) that have generated space-use conflicts. When disentangling the causal effect of MPAs from other drivers in fishery socioeconomic outcomes, researchers will focus on relevant metrics (e.g., total landing revenues, catch per unit effort, number of trips, kilometers traveled, etc.) derived in the previous task, and establish proper treatment and control datasets.