Essays on Fish Processors and Catch Shares
Guldin, Marie V.
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This dissertation studies the potential effects of catch shares on land-based fish processors with a focus on the shoreside Pacific whiting fishery, the first U.S. fishery in which a portion of harvesting quota was allocated to the processing sector upon implementation of individual fishing quotas (IFQs) in 2011. The first chapter utilizes facility-level cost-earnings data to describe processor behavior before and after implementation of IFQs, comparing predicted impacts to observed outcomes. We find evidence of longer seasons under IFQs with higher market ex-vessel prices, which comprised a larger share of the export price. The second chapter analyzes how processors utilize harvesting quota allocations, using several data sources to track processor-owned quota in the whiting fishery during the first seven years of IFQs. Rather than leasing quota holdings in the quota market, we observe processors offering quota at differing rates to delivering vessels, finding evidence that processors are utilizing their quota allocations in the ex-vessel market to attract deliveries. In the third chapter, we build a novel modelling framework that incorporates processor-allocated harvesting quota in an ex-vessel market with a regionally-differentiated duopsony processing sector, focusing on processor use of quota holdings to secure landings. With this model, we explore how processor-allocated quota can alter ex-vessel market outcomes in equilibrium, providing some insights into the welfare costs and distributional consequences of this policy.
- Economics