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Economics and Social Sciences Research Program

Developing a Multiregional Computable General Equilibrium Model (MRCGE) for Alaska and West Coast Fisheries

Many of the vessels operating in Alaska fisheries are owned and crewed by residents of West Coast states, especially Washington and Oregon. Some of these vessels also 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. If one assumes that all expenditures made by vessels from a given region are made locally, one will significantly overestimate economic impacts associated with a fishery. Taking account of the regional distribution of actual expenditures made by fishing vessels in Alaska, West Coast states, and elsewhere will enhance our ability to model the overall economic impacts of Alaska fisheries and West Coast fisheries.

The major task under this project is constructing a Multiregional Computable General Equilibrium Model (MRCGE) of the Alaska and West Coast economies with explicit detail of the two regions’ fishery sectors. The investigators will use IMPLAN (a regional economics model) and data available from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development to estimate the interregional flows of goods, services, and factors of production. The core of the MRCGE will consist of a CGE model previously developed by the investigators for the Alaska region. Reports produced under that project provide detailed estimates of the interregional distribution of expenditures for intermediate goods and services made by Alaska-based vessels. These data will be combined with data currently being developed by the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) for the IO-PAC model of West Coast fishery sectors. IO-PAC is an IMPLAN-based regional input-output model that includes detailed, survey-based estimates of expenditures by West Coast fishing vessels.

To date the following tasks have been completed under the project. First, available regional data (a Social Accounting Matrix) associated with the Alaska CGE model was assembled. This data includes estimates of costs and interregional expenditures made by Alaska fishing vessels and processors for intermediate inputs and labor and will form the core of the Alaska portion of the MRCGE model. Second, we have prepared a preliminary version of the West Coast IO-PAC model from the NWFSC. IO-PAC is an IMPLAN-based IO model of the combined three-state West Coast region. Data from IO-PAC will be used to form the core of the West Coast portion of the MRCGE model. Third, we investigated whether the latest IMPLAN data (version 3) is compatible for pre-2007 IMPLAN data for the purposes of interregional trade flow estimation (finding that only post-2006 data can be used with version 3 for trade flow estimation). Fourth, we examined previous MRCGE models which will be modified to develop equations and GAMS codes for the present MRCGE project.

The next steps of the project include 1) developing a West Coast social accounting matrix; 2) developing a West Coast CGE; 3) estimating interregional flows of goods, services, and factors of production; and 4) developing an MRCGE by combining the two single-region CGEs and by incorporating the information on the interregional flows of goods and factors of production.

By Edward Waters, Chang Seung, and Jerry Leonard

Chinook Salmon Bycatch Economic Data Collection Program: Phase 1 Action

Final action was taken by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) in December on a new economic data collection program for the Bering Sea pollock fishery. After the Council passed Amendment 91 to the Bering Sea Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) in April to limit Chinook salmon bycatch by the pollock fishery, AFSC economists wrote a discussion paper on options for expanded economic data collection to better evaluate the impacts of Amendment 91. Over a series of Council, data collection, and public meetings in 2009, the components of the data collection program were revised and draft data collection forms were developed. At its October meeting, the Council clarified its purpose and need statement, requesting that the data collection program be split into two phases so that some elements of the collection program will be in place as soon as possible, but data collection can be expanded as appropriate after the features of the incentive plan agreement(s) (IPA) are presented to NMFS in late 2010.

The current data collection program will have several key components. First, the value and quantity of any compensated transfers of salmon bycatch (as well as the quantity of pollock transfers) will be reported to NMFS. Second, vessels will indicate when they are moving primarily because of salmon bycatch. Third, an annual skipper survey will be completed by vessel operators that will improve NMFS and the Council’s understanding of the fleet’s experience with salmon bycatch each season. Finally, vessels will report their fuel costs, which will allow improved understanding of the costs of different vessels moving to avoid salmon bycatch. Jointly, these data will provide an improved understanding of how Amendment 91 and any IPA developed impacts salmon bycatch in the pollock fishery.

By Alan Haynie

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