Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 379–410 | Cite as

Fisheries Management Under Cyclical Population Dynamics

  • Richard T. Carson
  • Clive Granger
  • Jeremy Jackson
  • Wolfram Schlenker
Open Access


Cycles in environmental conditions (e.g., sea-surface temperature) directly impact fish growth. This paper extends the classical Gordon-Schaefer fishery model by replacing the constant growth rate with a cyclical growth rate. The optimal harvest rate is shown to fluctuate, but the cycle of the harvest rate lags the cycle of the biological growth function with the highest harvest rate occurring after biological conditions start to decline. Simulations contrast various fishing policies and illustrate the proclivity to crash a fishery if it is wrongfully managed as if there is a constant growth rate with i.i.d. environmental shocks. Finally, we show that small cyclical fluctuations in one species can result in large fluctuations in the optimal harvest rate of another species if the fish species are interlinked through predator-prey relationships.


Cyclical growth parameters Environmental fluctuations Gordon-Schaefer model 

JEL Classification

Q22 D78 


Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard T. Carson
    • 1
  • Clive Granger
    • 1
  • Jeremy Jackson
    • 1
  • Wolfram Schlenker
    • 2
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Columbia University and NBERNew YorkUSA

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