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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Model of Fishery Harvests with a Voluntary Co-op


We present a preliminary model of the within-season behavior of a fishery regulated by a total allowable catch constraint and season closure. An individual's catch depends on where he/she deploys effort and on the effort deployment decisions of other harvesters such that catch per unit effort is greater when effort is deployed before others have contacted the stock. Individual harvesters are allowed, voluntarily, to join a profit sharing co-operative that is allocated a share of the TAC commensurate with its effort capacity. The co-op centrally allocates the effort deployment decisions of all members. Non-joiners fish independently. We find that the co-op will coordinate effort in order to: fish the maximum amount of time the stock is available, concentrate effort among its most efficient members and harvest at the closest feasible distance to port. All independent harvesters will deploy effort at the maximum feasible rate until its TAC share is filled and will deploy effort at the maximum distance that yields positive profit. Harvesters joining the co-op will be the least efficient operators in the fishery.

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