Economics

Beyond sustainability: is government obliged to increase economic benefit from fisheries in the face of industry resistance?

Emery TJ, Gardner C, Hartmann K, Cartwright I. Beyond sustainability: is government obliged to increase economic benefit from fisheries in the face of industry resistance?. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2017 ;76:48 - 54. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X16305450
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Substantial economic opportunities have been identified in many Australian fisheries but may remain unimplemented due to the perception that the role of government is to ensure harvests are biologically sustainable, while economic decisions should be left to the commercial industry. This paper explores the role of government in driving changes that increase revenue and profit from fisheries (termed economic benefit). Australian fisheries resources are managed by eight different jurisdictions. While each have separate legislation, there is invariably a responsibility to manage on behalf of, and to the benefit of the public, who are the owners of the resource. This paper uses case studies to explore how government can struggle to determine the public interest, separate this from private interests and then implement management changes to ensure the public utility is maximised. Common problems were: (i) overarching economic objectives, which define who should benefit, were often ambiguous and open to interpretation; (ii) the public interest was usually abstract and often under-represented in decision-making processes, (in contrast to industry, who have direct representation); (iii) special interest groups were often able to lobby against changes; and (iv) government was often reluctant to seize opportunities to increase economic benefit when there was significant industry opposition to management changes. In drawing attention to these challenges and how they have been overcome historically, it is argued that government has both a role and requirement under their legislative objectives to take the lead in implementing measures that increase the economic benefit from Australian fisheries.

Communicating research on the economic valuation of coastal and marine ecosystem services

Torres C, Hanley N. Communicating research on the economic valuation of coastal and marine ecosystem services. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2017 ;75:99 - 107. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X16304912
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Quantifying the monetary value of ecosystem services (ES) provided by coastal and marine resources can help policy makers assess the trade-offs and synergies inherent in ecosystem-based management of marine and coastal environments, thus increasing the social efficiency of decision-making processes. As shown by the valuation literature, the number of coastal and marine management settings where valuation researchers have attempted to make a contribution is rising fast. However, this rise in research activity has not been matched by the increase in the use of economic valuation (EV) in the actual management of coastal and marine resources. This raises an interesting question: is EV responding to the needs of policy makers? This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the knowledge base regarding the economic values for coastal and marine ecosystems. It then discusses how to improve the uptake of ES valuation research by focussing on two core issues which are thought to be essential for more effective communication with the policy community.

The impact of climate change on the levelised cost of wind energy

Hdidouan D, Staffell I. The impact of climate change on the levelised cost of wind energy. Renewable Energy [Internet]. 2017 ;101:575 - 592. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960148116307856
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Society's dependence on weather systems has broadened to include electricity generation from wind turbines. Climate change is altering energy flows in the atmosphere, which will affect the economic potential of wind power. Changes to wind resources and their upstream impacts on the energy industry have received limited academic attention, despite their risks earning interest from investors.

We propose a framework for assessing the impact of climate change on the cost of wind energy, going from the change in hourly wind speed distributions from radiative forcing through to energy output and levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) from wind farms. The paper outlines the proof of concept for this framework, exploring the limitations of global climate models for assessing wind resources, and a novel Weibull transfer function to characterise the climate signal.

The framework is demonstrated by considering the UK's wind resources to 2100. Results are mixed: capacity factors increase in some regions and decrease in others, while the year-to-year variation generally increases. This highlights important financial and risk impacts which can be adopted into policy to enhance energy system resilience to the impacts of climate change. We call for greater emphasis to be placed on modelling wind resources in climate science.

Projected change in global fisheries revenues under climate change

Lam VWY, Cheung WWL, Reygondeau G, U. Sumaila R. Projected change in global fisheries revenues under climate change. Scientific Reports [Internet]. 2016 ;6:32607. Available from: http://www.nature.com/articles/srep32607
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Previous studies highlight the winners and losers in fisheries under climate change based on shifts in biomass, species composition and potential catches. Understanding how climate change is likely to alter the fisheries revenues of maritime countries is a crucial next step towards the development of effective socio-economic policy and food sustainability strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Particularly, fish prices and cross-oceans connections through distant water fishing operations may largely modify the projected climate change impacts on fisheries revenues. However, these factors have not formally been considered in global studies. Here, using climate-living marine resources simulation models, we show that global fisheries revenues could drop by 35% more than the projected decrease in catches by the 2050 s under high CO2 emission scenarios. Regionally, the projected increases in fish catch in high latitudes may not translate into increases in revenues because of the increasing dominance of low value fish, and the decrease in catches by these countries’ vessels operating in more severely impacted distant waters. Also, we find that developing countries with high fisheries dependency are negatively impacted. Our results suggest the need to conduct full-fledged economic analyses of the potential economic effects of climate change on global marine fisheries.

A Recreational Fisheries Economic Impact Assessment Manual and its application in two study cases in the Caribbean: Martinique and The Bahamas

Southwick R, Maycock D́Shan, Bouaziz M. A Recreational Fisheries Economic Impact Assessment Manual and its application in two study cases in the Caribbean: Martinique and The Bahamas. Bridgetown, Barbados, 2016: FAO Sub Regional Office for Latin America and the the Caribbean; 2016. Available from: http://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/442c0282-3fc6-4434-bffb-41ab1f2bc1ba/
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

The manual is intended to help countries within the wider Caribbean Region better understand the size and contributions from recreation fishing to their economies. The methods proposed within can be applied to other countries outside this region, too. The results are meant to explain the economic impacts at the national and regional level, not to the individual. Measures of recreational fishing’s impacts upon individuals are a valid concern, and may represent a second or separate effort on the part of the countries using this document. The manual was tested in Bahamas and Martinique and the resulst of these tests are included in the circular.

The value of billfish resources to both commercial and recreational sectors in the Caribbean

Gentner B. The value of billfish resources to both commercial and recreational sectors in the Caribbean. Bridgetown, Barbados , 2016: FAO Subregional Office for Latin America and the the Caribbean; 2016. Available from: http://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/e38753a2-ac6d-47cb-b8d3-a5135db37334/
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

The study carries out a comparison of the value estimated both in recreational and commercial fisheries for billfish in the Caribbean. The recreational value was found to be much higher than the value in the commercial sector but total estimates should be treayed with caution due to the uncertainty of the raw data available. Enough value exists in the recreational fisheries sector to compensate losses in commercial sector. Billfish commercial fishery responsible for much less than 1% of total Caribbean seafood value (between 0.36% and 0.84%). Most recreationally caught billfish released with high survival. In general, there is a need for better data regarding landings, effort, supply chain in both sectors.

Non-Market Values in a Cost-Benefit World: Evidence from a Choice Experiment

Eppink FV, Winden M, Wright WCC, Greenhalgh S. Non-Market Values in a Cost-Benefit World: Evidence from a Choice Experiment. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2016 ;11(10):e0165365. Available from: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0165365
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

In support of natural resource and ecosystem service policy, monetary value estimates are often presented to decision makers along with other types of information. There is some evidence that, presented with such ‘mixed’ information, people prioritise monetary over non-monetary information. We conduct a discrete choice experiment among New Zealand decision makers in which we manipulate the information presented to participants. We find that providing explicit monetary information strengthens the pursuit of economic benefits as well as the avoidance of environmental damage. Cultural impacts, of which we provided only qualitative descriptions, did not affect respondents’ choices. Our study provides further evidence that concerns regarding the use of monetary information in decisions with complex, multi-value impacts are valid. Further research is needed to validate our results and find ways to reduce any bias in monetary and non-market information.

Oceans facts and futures: Valuing South Africa's ocean economy

Duncan J, Petersen S, Greenstone J, Rainier S, Silandela M, Betts M, Kastern C, Adams R, Francis J, Mqoboka T, et al. Oceans facts and futures: Valuing South Africa's ocean economy. Cape Town, South Africa: WWF-SA; 2016. Available from: http://www.wwf.org.za/what_we_do/marine2/?19001/Oceans-facts-and-futures-Valuing-South-Africas-ocean-economy
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

Conservation of marine ecosystems should not be seen as separate from human survival and development, when in fact it is the foundation of ensuring that our oceans are able to produce the goods and services which we rely on.

In South Africa, coastal goods and services alone are estimated to contribute over a third – 35% – to our gross domestic product (GDP).

As a country with more ocean territory than land, our rich and productive coastal waters support thousands of jobs and contribute billions of rands to the national economy each year. In terms of fisheries alone, historically we have harvested around 600 000 tonnes of a fish a year which provides livelihoods to over 127 000 people and food security to millions. And as one of the most biodiverse marine nations on the planet, with almost 3 000 kilometres of coast and 13 000 species recorded in our waters, South Africa’s oceans and beaches are also a global tourist attraction contributing billions to our economy!

These and other important facts are included in WWF’s Oceans facts and futures: Valuing South Africa’s ocean economy which provides a snapshot of the current state of South Africa’s oceans. Collating the findings of relevant research across multiple sectors, it shines a light on the socioeconomic value of the goods and services provided by the ocean and some of the key ecological indicators, as well as highlighting areas of concern and showcasing best practice solutions.

This report also includes a useful one-page graphic ocean scorecard which depicts a summary of fish stock status, key challenges and a grading of their level of concern as well as a graph tracking ocean trends across five topical marine issues. It closes with a chapter which describes four potential future scenarios depending on the choices we make today.

The Oceans facts and futures report reminds us that the value we derive from our oceans is directly dependant on the health of the marine ecosystems which underpin almost all of our ocean activities.

Captains' response to a declining stock as anticipated in the surfclam (Spisula solidissima) fishery on the U.S. Mid-Atlantic coast by model evaluation

Powell EN, Klinck JM, Hofmann EE, Moreno P, Kuykendall KM, Munroe DM, Mann R. Captains' response to a declining stock as anticipated in the surfclam (Spisula solidissima) fishery on the U.S. Mid-Atlantic coast by model evaluation. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2016 ;134:52 - 68. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569116302071
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB) warming accompanied by a decline in recruitment has slowly reduced surfclam abundance. Simulations examined fishery dynamics during an extended period of low recruitment followed by stock recovery after a high-recruitment event. The model assigned performance characteristics to each vessel and gave captains defined behavioral proclivities including a tendency to search, to communicate with other captains, to use survey data, and to integrate variable lengths of past-history performance in targeting fishing trips. During the simulated excursion in abundance, LPUE (landings per unit effort) declined as lower abundance required an extended time at sea to catch a full load. Captains expanded their geographic range of interest steaming farther from port in an effort to maintain their performance. Net revenue declined. Use of survey data significantly improved performance. About equal in positive effect was moderate searching. Other behaviors incurred penalties. Communication failed to improve performance because both poor and good information was transferred. Reliance on a long period of catch history failed to improve performance because information was out of date during a time of rapidly changing conditions. In these simulations, no captains' behaviors prevented a collapse in vessel economics at low abundance, but certain behaviors limited the degree and duration of economic dislocation.

A methodology for analyzing the impact of the artisanal fishing fleets on regional economies: An application for the case of Asturias (Spain)

García-de-la-Fuente L, Fernández-Vázquez E, Ramos-Carvajal C. A methodology for analyzing the impact of the artisanal fishing fleets on regional economies: An application for the case of Asturias (Spain). Marine Policy [Internet]. 2016 ;74:165 - 176. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X16305735
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Artisanal fleets represent one of the most sustainable fishing segments. Under the current Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), a key issue consists of quantifying their contribution to employment and value added generation in local economies, but methodological tools have not been specifically developed to analyze this question and few empirical quantifications have been carried out due to lack of information (output, intermediate consumptions, primary inputs, etc.). This paper presents a methodology to measure the importance of artisanal fleets in an economy, on the basis of input-output (IO) analysis and by applying a disaggregation procedure that allows for distinguishing their activity when this information is aggregated into one of the sectors observable on an IO table. An empirical exercise has been conducted for the case of the artisanal fishing fleet of Asturias (region in Northwest Spain) by drawing together many different sources of data concerning its activity and by splitting the whole “Fisheries and aquaculture” sector in the symmetric IO table. The new IO table has allowed to estimate the impact of the artisanal fishing fleet's activity, showing that it exerted in 2010 higher multiplier effects on regional employment and income than the whole economy and the rest of the fisheries sector (basically, the industrial fleet). Findings also revealed that the potential of the artisanal fleet to generate gross value added is particularly important. Our results also suggest that sectoral disaggregation of IO tables is a highly versatile, useful and replicable methodology for socioeconomic studies of artisanal fisheries.

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