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Assessing Technical Efficiency in Commercial Fisheries: The Mid-Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery


Despite the extensive effort to research issues of allocative efficiency in fisheries, little empirical analysis of technical efficiency in fisheries exists. This study examines vessel efficiency using a stochastic production frontier based on a sample of sea scallop vessels operating in the Mid-Atlantic between 1987 and 1990. Estimates of technical efficiency are computed and compared with input usage, resource conditions, economic performance, and recently imposed regulations. The analysis suggests that owners and captains only partially compensate for changes in resource conditions through the use of labor and fishing efforts, and recent regulations may improve overall technical efficiency in the short run.

Source: Kirkley, J.E., Squires, D., and I.E. Strand. 1995. “Assessing technical efficiency in commercial fisheries: the mid-Atlantic sea scallop fishery.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 77(3): 686-697.

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