Economic Evaluation of Artificial Habitat for Fisheries: Progress and Challenges
Growing interest in artificial habitat development for fisheries has led to concern about biological and economic performance. Artificial habitat technology can be deployed to achieve three biological objectives: attraction, productivity enhancement, or stock diversification. These objectives are reflected in economic performance in existing commercial and recreational fisheries when the catch per unit effort is improved and/or the harvesting costs per unit effort are lower. Overall economic performance in the fishery may be impaired if attraction leads to overharvesting (stock externalities) and/or user conflicts increase harvesting costs (congestion externalities). A review of previous socioeconomic studies of artificial habitat technology for commercial and recreational uses shows that few studies directly evaluated economic performance although recent research focused more directly on specific aspects of performance evaluation. These studies indicate that location and design characteristics are important determinants of economic performance. But, the linkage between catch rates and economic performance has not been clearly identified, especially for specific species. Future research on artificial habitat technology should have closer coordination between biological and social scientists and greater emphasis on multi-year “before and after” studies to establish defensible measures of performance. In addition, researchers and coastal resource managers should give greater recognition to the role of artificial habitat technology in fishery management and evaluate managemcnt alternatives to promote the efficient use of this technology for commercial and recreational user groups.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1989-03-01
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