In Fisheries Less Now Equals More Later

Economists find that cutting back on commercial fish yields higher profits

04-01-2008 // Hannah Schardt

CUTTING BACK on fish harvests now would mean greater profits in the future for the fishing industry, according to a new study published in the journal Science. That's because when there are more fish, they are easier to catch, which allows fishers to spend less on fuel and other costs. "Our results prove that the highest profits are made when fish numbers are allowed to rise beyond levels traditionally considered optimal," says study coauthor Quentin Grafton of Australia's Crawford School of Economics. The researchers found that the most overexploited fisheries, such as cod, would see the biggest profit jump from a short-term reduction in take.

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