Determinants of fishing performance : the Washington state salmon fishery
Finnell, Cory Scott
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Very different economic implications come out of fishery models depending on whether fishermen are assumed homogeneous or heterogeneous in fishing skill. It is, however, common for economists to assume that fishermen are homogeneous in fishing skill. If fishermen are systematically different in fishing ability, any analyses of the political economy of private and public regulations that were based on an assumption of homogeneous fishermen, must be reconsidered. To test for systematic differences in fishing ability, cross-section time-series data sets were constructed from data bases maintained by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Performance measures were calculated for all fishermen in the non-Indian salmon purse seine, gill net, and troll fleets. Statistical analyses were performed on the performance measures for a sample of fishermen. Vessel characteristics account for approximately 1 percent to 20 percent of the variation in the performance measures. A composite operator effect accounts for 8.2 percent to 28.5 percent of the variation in the performance measures. Heterogeneity in fishing skill exists within the Washington salmon purse seine, gill net and troll fleets.