Spatial Choice Behavior

The NOAA Fisheries economics program contributes to marine spatial decisions by predicting the values and trade-offs associated with fishery management options that restrict allowable uses in designated areas. NOAA Fisheries is currently developing a spatial economics toolbox, FishSET, that provides analysts with the data and modeling tools necessary to rigorously analyze the costs imposed on fishermen from spatial management actions that restrict access to fishing grounds. Currently being piloted in Alaska, results from a Bering Sea fishery analysis found:

  • Different vessels experience very different costs from spatial closures, depending on their size and flexibility to adjust where they fish.
  • Fishermen are risk averse, preferring "safer returns" to more risky returns, all else equal.
  • It is harder to predict where fishermen will go in response to closures that close their primary fishing locations than closures that restrict a number of less visited areas.

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