Bio-economic models

Traditional methods for providing fisheries management advice have focused on the concept of Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY), and MSY is included in the fisheries acts in countries such as the U.S. and New Zealand.  However, the maximum profit from a fishery will not occur at the population size at which removals are maximized. Rather, Maximum Economic Yield occurs at population sizes larger than those at which MSY is obtained because the loss in yield by targeting a larger stock size is less than reduction in variable costs. The ability to provide management advice which accounts for economic factors requires the development of bio-economic models.

Researchers in the Puntlab have developed bio-economic models for prawn fisheries off northern Australia, crab fisheries in the Bering Sea, rock lobster fisheries off southern Australia, and the multispecies fisheries off Iceland. Fisheries managed by the Australian federal government have to aim to achieve Maximum Economic Yield. The bio-economic model developed for prawn fisheries accounts for the multi-species nature of the fishery and has been used since 2008 to provide scientific advice on effort levels for this fishery.

The crab fishery in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands is one of the most valuable crustacean fisheries in the world. André Punt and Dusanka Poljak have developed a bio-economic model for the fishery for red king crab which allows for the impact of Ocean Acidification on the survival rate of pre-recruit crab and the costs and revenues for fishing.

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