Monday, August 4, 2014

NMFS studies 'flow of revenues'

Here's a blurb on some interesting research going on at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle:

Examining the flow of revenues from North Pacific fisheries

The North Pacific fisheries generate close to $2 billion in first-wholesale revenue each year, yet there is no systematic accounting or analysis of the states or cities to where this money flows. In this project we are identifying the main fleets exploiting the North Pacific fisheries and summarizing the revenues earned by the location of residence and hailing port for fleet participants over several years. We hypothesize that the location of residence data for vessel owners is an indicator of where fishing profits are likely to be spent. The hailing port data may be representative of where the vessel obtains a significant portion of its supplies and, potentially, crew members. We are also attempting to identify spatial trends and structural breaks in the distribution of revenues in response to recent management actions. Finally, we hope to examine whether the revenue distribution has consolidated over time. We believe this information will be interesting to the public at large and fishery managers seeking more information on how fleet-level decisions map into the distribution of earnings to different cities and states.

— Ron Felthoven, Chris Anderson and Jenefer Meredith


49erDweet said...

Why is the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle?

Anonymous said...

South. It flows south. Now pay me, bitch.

Anonymous said...

How provincial. Alaskan fish resources feed into a global economy; examining capital flows across national borders would be far more interesting. Where profits go depends on where the investment capital came from in the first place. Wasn't Christiani Bank one of the reasons for the American Fisheries Act?

Also, the economists' basic assumption that location of residence data is a valid proxy for where fishing profits are spent is oversimplistic. How many Bristol Bay salmon barons spend all their profits in Palm Springs? How many Bering Sea crabbers spend all their profits in Honolulu? How many Kodiak longliners spend all their profits in Scottsdale? Residency of the owners is just where the owners choose to lay their heads down to sleep. They spend profits all over the place, including where they work and play, where they send their kids off to grad school, and on eBay and Similarly, the hailing port is poorly correlated with provisioning, procurement will happen where logistically appropriate for the vessel's operations. Some economists appear to be too insulated from the real world to recognize how it works.

It will be interesting, however, to see what the consolidation has been over time. Interesting, maybe, but not particularly useful as we all know that too-successful Americanization led to overcapitalization and policies designed to result in consolidation in order to reduce the number of participants in the fisheries. As any economist should know, this is why catch shares are called "rationalization" (see e.g., Weber).

Good luck making this study worth anything. At best, by this description, it appears to be a misguided waste of government researcher's skills and time. At worst, it may actually lead to poorly-made decisions if managers are misled into taking inappropriate action based on false assumptions.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the most cogent, well written comments I can recall on this blog. Whoever wrote this is absolutely right.

Anonymous said...

Most of the revenues are leaving Alaska... Funny that an Alaska fishery provides revenues to owners outside Alaska