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Economics & Social Sciences Research Program

Anthropology and Fisheries Management

Fisheries management in the United States has seen a growing contribution from the field of anthropology. Understanding the cultures and communities of those involved in fisheries is an important aspect of ecosystem-based management and contributes to the successful and productive management of marine ecosystems. Cultural and environmental anthropologists in many locations around the United States, including Alaska, are studying the people who fish, the things they know about fish, the ways they fish, and the communities that fishing sustains.

Recognizing that the field of fisheries anthropology is growing, Dr. Palma Ingles of the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office and Dr. Jennifer Sepez of the AFSC compiled and edited a volume of the peer-reviewed anthropology journal NAPA Bulletin to showcase research and methods employed by anthropologists studying U.S. fisheries. NAPA is the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology, a section of the American Anthropological Association, and the bulletin is published by the University of California Press. Contributors include NOAA Fisheries anthropologists, representatives of state fisheries agencies, academics, and contract researchers.

By Jennifer Sepez

Developing an Alaska Fishery CGE Model

Fixed-price models such as input-output (IO) and social accounting matrix (SAM) models are often used for analysis of fisheries. However, these models have several important limitations. In these models, prices are assumed to be fixed, and no substitution is allowed between factors in production or commodities in consumption. As a result, in cases where the fixed-price assumption may not be realistic, these models tend to overestimate impacts. Computable general equilibrium (CGE) models overcome these limitations. In CGE models, prices are allowed to vary, triggering substitution effects in production and consumption. The CGE model therefore enables analysts to easily examine the economic welfare implications of a policy change. Furthermore, the CGE approach is generally more appropriate than other regional economic models for analyzing the impacts of a change in productive capacity of resource-based industries.

This project, for the first time in analysis of Alaska fisheries, will build a multi-sector CGE model of the Alaska fishery. The investigators will use IMPLAN and other available data. Once developed, the CGE model will be used to estimate the distribution and magnitude of economic impacts associated with harvesting, processing, and support activities related to Alaska fisheries. As of now, the fishery-related data needed to develop the CGE model have been compiled. The remaining steps include 1) developing a social accounting matrix (SAM) with the fisheries-related data, 2) obtaining or estimating key parameters and coefficients for CGE modeling, and 3) developing the fishery CGE.

By Chang Seung

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