An economic analysis of the effect of risk and uncertainty on Lake Huron commercial fishery management practices

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Tsiplova, Kate
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University of Guelph

This thesis is an investigation of the effect of risk and uncertainty on fishery management practices. Using Lake Huron lake whitefish (' Coregonus clupeaformis') commercial fishery as a case study, this thesis develops a framework for the Total Allowable Catch determination that respects the possibility of risk and uncertainty. A lack of such a framework can lead to management decisions that could threaten the fishery. The framework is a discrete-time, stochastic, dynamic optimization model, solved by nonlinear programming. The distinction between risk and uncertainty matters for fishery management. Deterministic policy is identical to stochastic, risk neutral policy, but larger than risk averse policy. As risk increases, fishing effort decreases. A decision tree analysis shows that uncertain model parameters have a significant effect on the optimal policy. A decision tree analysis also shows that compared to the status quo, the Lake Huron fishery could attain large gains.

risk, uncertainty, fishery management practices, Lake Huron, lake whitefish, Coregonus clupeaformis, commercial fishery, Total Allowable Catch