Testing the feasibility of a hypothetical whaling-conservation permit market in Norway

Biao Huang, Joshua Abbott, Eli P. Fenichel, Rachata Muneepeerakul, Charles Perrings, Leah Gerber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A cap-and-trade system for managing whale harvests represents a potentially useful approach to resolve the current gridlock in international whale management. The establishment of whale permit markets, open to both whalers and conservationists, could reveal the strength of conservation demand, about which little is known. This lack of knowledge makes it difficult to predict the outcome of a hypothetical whale permit market. We developed a bioeconomic model to evaluate the influence of economic uncertainty about demand for whale conservation or harvest. We used simulations over a wide range of parameterizations of whaling and conservation demands to examine the potential ecological consequences of the establishment of a whale permit market in Norwegian waters under bounded (but substantial) economic uncertainty. Uncertainty variables were slope of whaling and conservation demand, participation level of conservationists and their willingness to pay for whale conservation, and functional forms of demand, including linear, quadratic, and log-linear forms. A whale-conservation market had the potential to yield a wide range of conservation and harvest outcomes, the most likely outcomes were those in which conservationists bought all whale permits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)809-817
Number of pages9
JournalConservation Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • conservation demand
  • demanda de la caza de ballenas
  • demanda de la conservación
  • economic uncertainty
  • free riding
  • incertidumbre económica
  • polizón
  • whaling demand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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