Commercial Fishing: Economic Aid and Capacity Reduction

Commercial Fishing: Economic Aid and Capacity Reduction

Date: April 14, 1997
Creator: Read, Andrew G & Buck, Eugene H
Description: Both experience and economic models show that, in the absence of enforceable access or catch restrictions, competition among commercial fishermen results in an expansion of fishing capacity, and resultant fishing effort, beyond the sustainable limits of the fish population being pursued. The spiral of increasing effort and diminishing returns (i.e., rent dissipation) has helped to fuel increases in fish prices that reduce benefits to consumers and processors; has shifted many fish populations toward smaller, younger fish that typically command lower prices; and in many cases has reduced yields far below achievable levels. Congress has considered several approaches to address concerns about overcapitalization and excess capacity in the fishing industry.
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