Impacts of vessel capacity reduction programmes on efficiency in fisheries : the case of Australia’s multispecies northern prawn fishery

Pascoe, Sean, Coglan, Louisa, Punt, Andre E., & Dichmont, Catherine M. (2012) Impacts of vessel capacity reduction programmes on efficiency in fisheries : the case of Australia’s multispecies northern prawn fishery. Journal of Agricultural Economics, 63(2), pp. 425-443.

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Capacity reduction programmes, in the form of buybacks or decommissioning, have had relatively widespread application in fisheries in the US, Europe and Australia. A common criticism of such programmes is that they remove the least efficient vessels first, resulting in an increase in average efficiency of the remaining fleet, which tends to increase the effective fishing power of the remaining fleet. In this paper, the effects of a buyback programme on average technical efficiency in Australia’s Northern Prawn Fishery are examined using a multi-output production function approach with an explicit inefficiency model. As expected, the results indicate that average efficiency of the remaining vessels was generally greater than that of the removed vessels. Further, there was some evidence of an increase in average scale efficiency in the fleet as the remaining vessels were closer, on average, to the optimal scale. Key factors affecting technical efficiency included company structure and the number of vessels fishing. In regard to fleet size, our model suggests positive externalities associated with more boats fishing at any point in time (due to information sharing and reduced search costs), but also negative externalities due to crowding, with the latter effect dominating the former. Hence, the buyback resulted in a net increase in the individual efficiency of the remaining vessels due to reduced crowding, as well as raising average efficiency through removal of less efficient vessels.

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ID Code: 71029
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Australian northern prawn fishery, buyback programmes, fisheries management, multi-output distance function, technical efficiency
DOI: 10.1111/j.1477-9552.2011.00333.x
ISSN: 0021-857X
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Economics & Finance
Deposited On: 06 May 2014 04:59
Last Modified: 07 May 2014 06:48

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