Assessing Recreational and Commercial Conflicts over Artificial Fishery Habitat Use: Theory and Practice
This paper contains an economic analysis of conflicts between recreational and commercial users of artificial fishery habitats. Two common sources of conflict are explored: (1) reductions in catch rates associated with joint harvesting from a common fish stock, and (2) congestion and reduction in gear effectiveness due to the concentrated physical presence of competing gear and vessels. Theoretical economic models are developed to show that economic inefficiency pervades most user conflicts, which in turn results in sub-optimal use of the habitat resource. Results of the models suggest that optimal management intervention strategies in conflict situations depends on the costs of intervention, the economic value of harvesting fish in the competing fisheries, and on the social objectives in creating the artificial habitat in the first place. Four basic forms of management intervention are identified and evaluated: (1) denial of access to certain user groups; (2) restrictions on catch rates and allowable gear; (3) temporal segregation of user groups through restrictions on permitted fishing dates and times; and (4) spatial segregation of user groups through the construction of multiple dispersed habitat areas. Of these options, spatial segregation appears to be an effective way to manage conflicts when access cannot be fully controlled due to institutional constraints.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 March 1989
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