Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 71, Issue 4, pp 875–895 | Cite as

Preference for Landings’ Smoothing and Risk of Collapse in Optimal Fishery Policies: The Ibero-Atlantic Sardine Fishery

  • Renato RosaEmail author
  • João Vaz
  • Rui Mota
  • Alexandra Silva


Several world fish stocks are being explored at unsustainable levels and require management plans to rebuild stock abundance. Defining a management plan is, however, a complex task that entails multidisciplinary work. In fact, while it requires solid scientific knowledge of fish stocks, the inclusion of economic and social objectives is crucial to a successful management implementation. In this paper we develop an age-structured bioeconomic model where the objective function is modified to accommodate preferences from different stakeholders. In particular, we consider important characteristics that a management plan should take into account: profit maximization, fishermen’s preference for reducing landings’ fluctuations and risk of fishery collapse. Modeling preferences for reducing landings’ fluctuations is accomplished by defining a utility function with aversion to intertemporal income fluctuations. Building upon biology literature, we model precautionary concerns by incorporating a probability of collapse that depends on current spawning biomass. We illustrate how this framework is able to assist in the analysis and design of harvest control rules applying it to the Ibero-Atlantic sardine stock.


Fishery management Optimal harvesting Age-structured model Stock collapse Harvest control rules Bioeconomic model Multiple objectives 



The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. This research work was developed in the context of the project entitled “The Economic Valuation and Governance of Marine and Coastal Ecosystem Services (MCES)”. CENSE is financed through Strategic Project Pest-OE/AMB/UI4085/2013 from the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, I.P., Portugal. This work was funded by National Funds funds through FCT—Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia under the project Ref. UID/ECO/00124/2013 and by POR Lisboa under the project LISBOA-01-0145-FEDER-007722. We acknowledge the support of FCT via scholarship SFRH/BPD/81880/2011 (Rui Mota). Finally, we acknowledge also EU/DGMARE Fisheries Data Collection Framework (DCF) for funding A. Silva.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CENSE—Center for Environmental and Sustainability Research, Faculdade de Ciências e TecnologiaUniversidade Nova de LisboaCaparicaPortugal
  2. 2.Nova School of Business and EconomicsUniversidade Nova de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Department of Economics and FinanceUniversity of WyomingLaramieUSA
  4. 4.IPMA—Instituto Português do Mar e da AtmosferaLisbonPortugal

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