Fishery management under multiple uncertainty

Gautam Sethi, Christopher Costello, Anthony Fisher, Michael Hanemann, Larry Karp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


Among others who point to environmental variability and managerial uncertainty as causes of fishery collapse, Roughgarden and Smith (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 93 (1996) 5078) argue that three sources of uncertainty are important for fisheries management: variability in fish dynamics, inaccurate stock size estimates, and inaccurate implementation of harvest quotas. We develop a bioeconomic model with these three sources of uncertainty, and solve for optimal escapement based on measurements of fish stock in a discrete-time model. Among other results we find: (1) when uncertainties are high, we generally reject the constant-escapement rule advocated in much of the existing literature, (2) inaccurate stock estimation affects policy in a fundamentally different way than the other sources of uncertainty, and (3) the optimal policy leads to significantly higher commercial profits and lower extinction risk than the optimal constant-escapement policy (by 42% and 56%, respectively).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-318
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Environmental Economics and Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Dynamic optimization
  • Fisheries management
  • Incomplete information
  • Markovian process
  • Risk
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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