The Economics Team provides data, methods, and analyses needed to address economic issues associated with: (1) management of protected species - including (a) salmonids listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and (b) marine mammals protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act - and (2) management of the groundfish and salmon fisheries under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSFCMA). The Team also provides economic expertise and advice to policy makers through service on technical advisory committees, including the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (PFMC) Scientific and Statistical Committee and the RecFIN Technical Committee.
The Team works closely with agency and academic partners. Past and current collaborators include colleagues at NOAA Fisheries, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC), California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), California Department of Forestry, and Sea Grant. Academic collaborators include faculty, postdocs, and students affiliated with the University of California, Johns Hopkins University, Oregon State University, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (Milan, Italy), and University of Reading (United Kingdom).
Economic Analysis in Support of Protected Species Management
The ESA requires that recovery plans for listed species include estimates of the cost of implementing the plans. Given the importance of habitat restoration to recovery of ESA-listed salmonids, the Team’s ESA-related work focuses largely on habitat restoration costs and related models. For instance, the Team worked with PSMFC and CDFG on design and creation of the California Habitat Restoration Project Database (CHRPD) - a database that includes cost and other data for numerous salmonid restoration projects in California. Using CHRPD data and other, more detailed site-specific cost data provided by restoration contractors, the Team is working on models that estimate restoration costs as a function of characteristics of the restoration project, characteristics of the landscape in which the project occurred, and local economic conditions.
To help address sedimentation problems (a major impediment to salmon recovery in many northern California streams), the Team is working on habitat management models that focus on erosion control and sediment loading at the road and watershed level. For instance, using stochastic dynamic programming methods, the Team has developed a model of logging road management that identifies the treatment (road removal, road improvement, status quo maintenance) that minimizes the long-run expected cost of erosion control on a road. The Team has also used large-scale mixed-integer programming techniques to develop a spatial watershed management model that identifies the optimal siting and timing of road maintenance, road removal and timber harvest activities.
The Team is using existing dockside sampling, logbook and observer data to analyze the effects of pinniped-fishery interactions on fishing operations and how those effects vary by fishery, year, season and location. The Team will also be providing recommendations regarding how existing data collections might be improved to enhance our understanding of the nature and extent of such interactions.
Economic Analysis in Support of Fishery Management
Effective fishery management requires a sound understanding of how fishing behavior is affected by biological, regulatory and market factors. The Team’s efforts in this regard include analyses of existing fishery data, as well as analyses of original data collected by the Team.
The Team is developing multi-fishery network models that identify linkages among fisheries (as substitute and complementary activities), as well as linkages of each fishery to processing and other types of economic activity in fishing communities. This modeling effort, which encompasses all California fisheries (not just PFMC-managed fisheries), is intended to help address National Standard 8 of the MSFCMA.
The Team is routinely involved in a number of aspects of economic data collection - including questionnaire design, statistically-based sampling methods and monitoring of data collection activities. Completed projects include economic surveys of marine recreational anglers, commercial passenger fishing vessel operators, and freshwater salmon and steelhead anglers in California. The Team is currently working on implementation of an economic logbook for California’s commercial nearshore groundfish fishery.
The Team’s research on the commercial groundfish and salmon fisheries includes estimation of fishery investment and participation models using "real options" techniques from financial economics. The Team is also developing a Bayesian hierarchical approach to measuring technical efficiency.
The Team’s recreational fishery research focuses largely on discrete choice models of angler behavior and estimation of the economic value and economic impacts of recreational fisheries - including marine (all species) and freshwater (salmon and steelhead) fisheries.