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Economics & Social Sciences Research Program

Multi-regional Computable General Equilibrium Model Developed for North Pacific and West Coast Fisheries

Many of the vessels operating in North Pacific fisheries are owned and crewed by residents of West Coast states, especially Washington and Oregon. Some of these vessels also tend to participate in West Coast fisheries during the year. Expenditures made by these vessels generate income in port and may also have multiplier and spillover effects in other regions. Assuming that all expenditures are made locally will significantly overestimate economic impacts in a given region. Taking account of the regional distribution of expenditures made by North Pacific fishing vessels in Alaska, West Coast states and elsewhere in the United States will enhance our ability to model the overall economic impacts of North Pacific and West Coast fisheries. We constructed a three-region (Alaska, West Coast, and rest of the United States) social accounting matrix (SAM) using 1) data that was previously used to develop a single-region Alaska computable general equilibrium (CGE) model, 2) data developed by the Northwest Fisheries Science Center for the IO-PAC model of West Coast fishery sectors, and 3) data on interregional trade from IMPLAN. Using the SAM, we developed a multiregional CGE (MRCGE) for the three regions. Currently, we are conducting various simulation experiments that calculate the impacts from changes in the total allowable catch, the world demand for North Pacific seafood, and the exchange rate. The model will be used to calculate the regional and interregional economic impacts of North Pacific and West Coast fisheries. In the future, the MRCGE model will be fully integrated with Mike Dalton's global GTAP model, resulting in a full multi-regional, multi-country CGE model (if funding is available).

By Chang Seung and Mike Dalton

The Effect of Decreasing Seasonal Sea Ice Cover on the Bering Sea Pollock Fishery

The winter fishing season of the Bering Sea pollock fishery occurs during the period of maximum seasonal sea ice extent, but harvesters avoid fishing in ice-covered waters. Global climate models predict a 40% reduction in winter ice cover by 2050. This may have implications for the costs that vessels incur when traveling to and around their fishing grounds, or may open entirely new areas to fishing. Using retrospective data from 1999 to 2009, a time period of extensive annual climate variation, we analyzed variation in the distribution of the fishery. We compared the distribution of fishing in warm and cold years to estimate the degree to which fishing is displaced by ice cover. We used projections of average ice cover and bottom temperatures from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) model scenarios to characterize how the frequency of cold and warm years in the Bering Sea is projected to change through 2050. We simulated the predicted changes in ice conditions and compared the projected distribution of fishing to the observed distribution of fishing. The predicted redistribution of effort is small, largely because the winter fishery is driven by the pursuit of roe-bearing fish whose spawning location is stable. Some areas show a significant change in the quantity of fishing effort, however.

By Lisa Pfeiffer and Alan C. Haynie

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