FISHERIES MANAGEMENT CONTROVERSIES:
Biology, Economics, and Politics

AFS Abstracts of papers presented at the 119th Annual Meeting of the AMERICAN FISHERIES SOCIETY Anchorage, Alaska Sept. 4-8, 1989


INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN FISHERIES PRODUCTS: IMPLICATIONS FOR RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Gorte, Ross W. (Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540).

The objective of this paper is to describe the major U.S. trade flows in fisheries products and to discuss the implications for resource management. In 1987, U.S. edible fisheries product imports were $5.7 billion, mostly from Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, and several Asian nations. Edible fisheries product exports in 1967 were 51.6 billion, mostly to Japan. While both imports and exports have been climbing, the fisheries trade deficit has been growing, until 1988. Given these trends, pressures to increase U.S. harvests will mount, particularly for shrimp (for domestic use) and for salmon (for export), leading to efforts to increase allowable catch (where possible) and decrease restrictions (e.g., TEDs). Increased fishing investments and more fishing effort can cut into already narrow profit margins, while pushing the resource closer to its limits, such that an environmental disaster (e.g., the Exxon oil spill) could cause the resource to crash. Potential exists to exploit currently unused resources (e.g., Alaska flatfish), but care must be taken to protect other resources (e.g., halibut bycatch seabird and marine mammal populations).


INTERNATIONAL DEFICITS IN FISH: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE FUTURE OF FISHERIES MANAGEMENT

Parker, Nick C. (Texas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409).

The import of fish and fishery products (58.8 billion in 1987) into the United States in recent years has been exceeded in value only by the import of petroleum products ($16.5 billion in 1587). The value per unit weight of fish and fishery products steadily increased from 1982 through 1988 reflecting the growing demand in world markets. Data from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations indicates that the volume of fish and fish products traded among 167 nations was about 14% greater than the volume produced. The rapid expansion of the aquaculture industry to produce farm-raised catfish, salmon, shrimp, and other species has been drive by the increased demands on finite storks. The concentration of much of the world's population along sea coasts and inland waterways has resulted in loss of aquatic habitat, environmental degradation and tremendous fishing pressure that has decimated many wild stocks. Resource managers and aquaculturists are both evaluating the risks and benefits of using introduced species, transgenic, polyploid, hybrid and reproductively sterile aquatic organisms to provide the fish and fishery products demanded by world markets for food and for recreation. The greatest challenge in fisheries management may be to maintain genetic stocks of native fishes yet provide the recreational fishing opportunities and food fish production demanded by growing world markets.


UNDERSTANDING SEAFOOD TRADE AND MARKETING FOR IMPROVED MANAGEMENT OF FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE

Anderson, James L. (Department of Resource Economics, University of Rhode Island Kingston, RI C2881).

Seafood markets are dominated by international trade yet in the U.S., fishery managers, aquaculturists and fishermen are often unaware of how foreign markets function and how profoundly they influence the seafood marketing system. Most managers and primary producers are surprisingly uninformed about the domestic market as well. This lack of knowledge leads to inefficient allocation of resources from harvesting through to consumption.

This paper examines some of the benefits to improved understanding of the seafood market. These benefits can be derived by changing fishery and aquaculture management, quality control measure and marketing practices to better match seafood products with consumer needs. Gains also can be made by putting primary producers in a stronger bargaining position, especially when in negotiations with foreign buyers. The passive marketing practices dominating the marketing of primary seafood products in the U.S. need to be integrated from resource management practices through the final sale.

Several examples of costs which result from not being responsive to foreign markets and the potential for improved management and marketing will be discussed.


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