Marine Biology Seminar: Dr. Peter Kuriyama (NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center)
"Fishers' behavioral responses to catch shares in the US West Coast Groundfish fishery"
Abstract: Catch share systems are generally expected to increase profits by increasing harvest efficiency, reducing capital costs through consolidation, and increasing the value of landed catch. However, these benefits may have costs, as consolidation and the potential for associated change in spatial distribution in landings can hinder social objectives such as maintaining access for fishery-dependent communities and small owner-operators. Achievement of such fishery management objectives are determined by changes in fisher behavior, which may be complex and difficult to predict. Predicting fisher behavior is particularly challenging in multispecies fisheries, in which the mix of species is a determinant of where and when fishing effort and landings occur. We evaluate changes in overall fishing effort, species targeting, and determinants of fishing location choice in response to catch shares in the US West Coast Groundfish Trawl Fishery. We found reductions in total fishing effort, increased targeting of some species, and no evidence of spatial effort concentration. Key determinants of location choice (distance, expected revenue, and recently fished locations) were similar among time periods, but after catch shares there was more avoidance of areas that lacked recent fishing activity or associated information with which to develop expectations of catch and bycatch. Additionally, location choice remained constant with up to 100-fold financial penalties on bycatch species.