The Magnucon Fisheries Conservation and management Act: An Economic Assessment of the First 10 years

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Abstract

The Magnuson fisheries Conservation and management Act (MFCMA) was enacted and implemented in 1977. In an analysis of data collected by the National Marine Fisheries Service one observes a significant increase in the landings of fish and shellfish and in the nominal and real exvessel revenue, The present value of net variable revenues for the 1968-1979 period was estimated at $1.1 billion as compared ti $3.8 billion for the 1977-1985 period. The increase in net revenues, however, appears to be declining due to the increase in the number of vessels in the U.S. domestic fleet. The time path for net revenues suggests that the industry is headed toward a new (purely domestic) open access equilibrium where revenue equals cost and the imputed value of resource is driven to zero (rent dissipation). It is well known that open access results in welfare losses to both consumers and the fishing industry. If these welfare losses are to be avoided, the eight regional management councils and the Department of Commerce must adopt policies which will reduce yield in the short run (thereby allowing stocks to increase) and efficiently harvest optimum yield in the long run. Transferable quotas for single species fisheries are attractive because they encourage efficient (least cost) harvest and afford flexibility in a world where stocks of individual species are subject to fluctuation

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1986-08
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Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University
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