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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Economic analysis of unregulated and illegal fishing in Raja Ampat, Indonesia Bailey, Megan


In an era of declining fish stocks and habitat degradation, ecosystem-based management (EBM) is considered an alternative approach to ensure the sustainability of marine resource use. EBM explicitly acknowledges humans and ecosystems in the management of fisheries. This thesis provides two economic analyses to be incorporated into an E BM plan being developed by the Raja Ampat regency government, in Indonesia. Specifically, these analyses address the issues of unregulated and illegal fisheries in the regency. The coastal environment that supports regency inhabitants is considered the world's most biodiverse marine area, but is threatened due to population and poverty pressures faced by those who depend on its resources. In order to manage fisheries effectively, it is important for the regency to have primary data and catch and profitability estimates for the fisheries currently in operation. Furthermore, the use of destructive fishing gears, such as explosives and cyanide, is threatening both the commercial and the artisanal fishing sectors. To provide the regency with data regarding an unregulated anchovy fishery operating in Kabui Bay, fisher interviews were carried out. Monte Carlo simulations were run using interview results to provide estimated catch and profitability for 2006. Results suggest that this unregulated fishery removed about 3,500 tonnes of anchovy, worth US $1.6 million, in 2006. The fishery appears to be quite profitable, with anchovy fishers making almost twice as much as the average fisher in Raja Ampat. The perverse incentives of destructive fishing in the artisanal sector are examined by applying principal-agent theory to analyze how the probability of detecting illegal fishers, and the fine owed by apprehended fishers, can be used to decrease the occurrence of illegal fishing. The elimination of blast fishing could result in a stable snapper stock biomass and an estimated increase in net present value from the fishery of US $3.68 million over the next 45 years. However, the high profitability of the cyanide fishery targeting groupers appears to be a substantial barrier to the elimination of this gear, and to a large increase in economic value of a completely legal fishery.

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