Spatial Harvest Regimes for a Sedentary Fishery
Nikolaos Mykoniatis, Richard Ready
Environmental & Resource Economics
This paper investigates the role of harvest sanctuaries and reserves in the management of a sedentary fishery. An optimal control bioeconomic model is developed and optimized for native oysters in the Chesapeake Bay, US, that incorporates two positive externalities generated by oyster stocks: nutrient removal and provision of habitat for other benthic species. The model incorporates four management regimes that currently exist in the Bay: public grounds that are continuously harvested, aquaculture on leased grounds, sanctuaries that are never harvested, and reserves that are periodically pulse harvested. We find that if harvest effort in public grounds can be controlled, then that management regime unambiguously provides the highest social welfare. However, if harvest effort in public grounds cannot be controlled, then reserves provide the highest social welfare. Sanctuaries are part of the optimal mix of regimes only when harvest effort on public grounds cannot be controlled and a pulsed harvest is not feasible.
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