Spare the Young Fish: Optimal Harvesting Policies for North-East Arctic Cod
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- Diekert, F.K., Hjermann, D.Ø., Nævdal, E. et al. Environ Resource Econ (2010) 47: 455. doi:10.1007/s10640-010-9388-z
The North-East Arctic cod (Gadus morhua) fishery, as most other commercial fisheries, is wasting the larger part of its potential. Examining a detailed multi-cohort, multi-gear bioeconomic model, we show that the cause is rather a too small mesh size than excessive effort. Although internationally and nationally managed by quota allocations and regulations, the current exploitation pattern implies that essentially the wrong fish are targeted. Catching older and heavier fish could double the fishery’s Net-Present-Value. This increases harvested biomass while it reduces the number of fish removed from the ocean, highlighting the importance of age- and gear-specific modeling. Moreover, optimal harvesting policies would also lead to a much more robust and abundant cod stock.