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Measuring Capacity of the New England Otter Trawl Fleet


Measurement of capacity in marine fisheries is an important activity. An economic definition of capacity is the output level corresponding to the tangency between the long-run and short-run average cost curves. A technological-engineering definition is the maximum output per unit of time provided variable inputs are unrestricted. Although cost data to support an economic measurement of capacity in fisheries are not routinely available, data are typically available to support the technological engineering measure of capacity. Our paper provides an assessment of the technological-engineering concept of capacity in the New England multispecies otter trawl fishing fleet. Based on Färe et al. (1994), we calculate capacity using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), a non-parametric technique which utilizes linear programming methods to evaluate the performance of individual firms. DEA is ideally suited to assess capacity in fisheries because it easily accommodates multiple output-multiple input technologies. The New England otter trawl fleet was used as a study fleet because it has a multi-product nature, and is comprised of a wide variety of vessel types and sizes. (Click here for paper)

Source: Walden, J.B. and J. Kirkley. 2000. “Measuring capacity of the New England otter trawl fleet.” In: Proceedings of the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade: Macrobehavior and Macroresults, July 10-14, 2000, Corvallis, Oregon. Corvallis, OR: International Institute for Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET).

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