prices at the dock vary across locations and reflect a wide range of product
attributes, including species, fish size, quality, and type of gear used. Using
a highly detailed dataset of fish transactions in northern Norway, the study in
this paper decomposes landed seafood prices into the implicit prices of
individual product attributes. These implicit prices measure market incentives
for vessel behaviours such as targeting a particular species or size class of
fish, timing the catch within the season, or choosing a landing location.
characteristics analyzed have statistically significant implicit prices, fish
size and species are the most economically significant. For cod and other
whitefish, fish size and species account for nearly all of the variation in
landed prices and thus provide the largest incentives for targeting. The resulting fishing behaviour could
ultimately influence stock composition and possibly even genetic composition.
If managers wish to control these aspects of the fishery, analyzing fine-scale
seafood transactions at the dock can assess the strength of economic incentives
and likely responses of the harvest sector to policy.
Fresh cod at the dock; Photo: Norwegian Fishermen’s Sales Organization Archive.
Article title: Economic incentives to target species and fish size: Prices and fine-scale product attributes in Norwegian fisheries
Authors: Frank Asche, Yanyou Chen, and Martin D. Smith