Improving Fishery Management Models and Methods
Keywords:Decision sciences, OR in Natural Resources, Fisheries Management, Bio-economics, Value of Time, Resource Costs.
In a dynamic, environment, the decision makers make use of many different resources where two or more can act as substitutes. At each decision moment in time, the market prices will be constant, and the relative prices of accessible resources will determine the economic rationale of the process. Ignoring or downplaying the effects of substitutability of resources in dynamic economic processes may lead to mismanagement of the fish stocks and result in serious economic consequences for the respective fishing industries.
For nearly five decades’ fishery managers and policy makers have used bio-economic models and methods as foundation for their management schemes. These models and methods are for the most based on the deductive methodology of economics where central assumptions are the metaphors of “equilibrium“ and “bio-economic equilibrium“. Models based on equilibrium theories are usually deterministic where dynamics of the markets are a meager part of the problem.
Less attention has been offered to inductive reasoning and modeling within the field of fishery management. The inductive method of reasoning is often based on facts and actual observations within the industries, a methodology widely used by engineers and the field of business administration.
In this paper, we introduce and integrate the concept of substitutability of economic resources into a traditional bio-economic model. The results show that fishery management, which bases decisions solely on traditional bio-economic models where the dynamics and consequences of the operational decision processes of the industry are ignored, may reach decisions that work opposite of their intention.
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