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IJMS Editor’s Choice – Economic incentives for targeted fisheries

A selected Editor’s Choice article from the latest issue of the ICES Journal of Marine Science is now freely available. This month read more about how fishers can maximize harvest value through targeting specific attributes.
Published: 2 December 2014

Seafood prices at the dock vary across locations and reflect a wide range of product attributes, including species, fish size, quality, and type of gear used. Using a highly detailed dataset of fish transactions in northern Norway, the study in this paper decomposes landed seafood prices into the implicit prices of individual product attributes. These implicit prices measure market incentives for vessel behaviours such as targeting a particular species or size class of fish, timing the catch within the season, or choosing a landing location.

Although most characteristics analyzed have statistically significant implicit prices, fish size and species are the most economically significant. For cod and other whitefish, fish size and species account for nearly all of the variation in landed prices and thus provide the largest incentives for targeting. The resulting fishing behaviour could ultimately influence stock composition and possibly even genetic composition. If managers wish to control these aspects of the fishery, analyzing fine-scale seafood transactions at the dock can assess the strength of economic incentives and likely responses of the harvest sector to policy.

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​Fresh cod at the dock; Photo: Norwegian Fishermen’s Sales Organization Archive.

Article title: Economic incentives to target species and fish size: Prices and fine-scale product attributes in Norwegian fisheries

Authors: Frank Asche, Yanyou Chen, and Martin D. Smith

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IJMS Editor’s Choice – Economic incentives for targeted fisheries

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