Fishery collapse revisited

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Fishery collapse has been defined as a fishery with annual landings less than 10% of the historic maximum observed catch. However, this 10% rule is not grounded in bioeconomic theory despite being widely used in empirical economic studies of fisheries. We assess the 10% rule by simulating fisheries under pure open access, open access with cost changes, open access with critical depensation, optimal management (both deterministic and stochastic cases), and rebuilding plans. We show that the 10% rule generates false negatives and false positives, and that the prevalence of these problems varies under different institutional configurations, economic incentives, and biological conditions. We urge researchers to abandon this outcome measure for comparative empirical tests and encourage more research on collapse that attends to human agency and institutions.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Li, Q; Smith, MD

Published Date

  • January 1, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 36 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 1 - 22

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2334-5985

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0738-1360

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1086/711233

Citation Source

  • Scopus