• Agent-Based Modeling of the Bristol Bay Drift Gillnet Salmon Fishery

      Chasco, Brandon; Knapp, Gunnar; Hilborn, Ray (School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, 2006)
      Alaska’s Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishery is the world’s largest fishery for this species. Between 1980 and 2005, annual catches averaged 24 million fish, with an annual average ex-vessel value of US$165 million. Historically, the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishery has accounted for 20-40% of the total value of Alaska salmon fisheries. Similar to most other Alaska salmon fisheries, Bristol Bay fisheries are managed to achieve escapement goals for several major river systems flowing into Bristol Bay. Fish- ing is allowed during period “openings” over the season to catch returning salmon surplus to escapement goals. In general, the current management system is reasonably successful from a biological point of view, in the sense that managers are usually able to control fishing effort to achieve escapement goals. Our initial fishery data analysis supports key model relationships that we have hypothesized have important implications for how prices, runs, and management may affect the Bristol Bay fishery. For example, the higher the ex-vessel value of the fishery, the more rapid the rate of permit outmigration from the Bristol Bay region.
    • Changing Markets for Alaska Roe Herring

      Johnson, Terry; Knapp, Gunnar (University of Alaska Sea Grant College Program (grant no. NA86RG-0050, project A/151-01), 2000)
      The Pacific herring fishery is one of Alaska’s most important commercial fisheries, with average annual landings during the 1990s of 47,100 tons, an average ex-vessel value of $28.9 million, and an average first wholesale value of $80.1 million. Although total landings have been relatively stable, ex-vessel prices and ex-vessel value are highly variable, and declined during the 1990s. This paper examines factors affecting the prices paid for Alaska herring.
    • Economic Impacts of BSAI Crab Rationalization on Kodiak Fishing Employment and Earnings and Kodiak Businesses: A Preliminary Analysis.

      Knapp, Gunnar (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2006)
      This study was requested by the City of Kodiak to analyze how crab rationalization has affected crab fishing jobs and earnings of Kodiak residents and sales of Kodiak businesses. The study is limited to these issues. It does not address many other important issues raised by crab rationalization. There are significant challenges in studying economic effects of crab rationalization on Kodiak. There are important differences between crab fisheries, and within each fishery there are differences in boat sizes, vessel ownership, quota allocation, and many other factors which affect how quota is fished. Many factors besides rationalization affect crab fisheries, and many factors besides crab fisheries affect Kodiak’s economy—making it difficult to identify the specific effects of crab rationalization on Kodiak. Since rationalization began in the 2005/06 season, there have been very rapid and dramatic changes in the crab fisheries. Between the 2004/05 and 2005/06 seasons, vessel registration declined by about two-thirds for the Bristol Bay Red King Crab (BBR) fishery and by about one-half for the Bering Sea Snow Crab (BSS) fishery.1
    • Salmon Fish Traps in Alaska: An Economic History Perspective

      Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1999)
      Salmon return faithfully to their stream of birth and can be efficiently caught by fixed gear. But since the introduction at the turn of the century of fish traps to the emerging Alaska commercial salmon fishery, most territorial residents fought for their abolition even while admitting to their technical efficiency. The new State of Alaska immediately banned traps in 1959. I estimate the economic rents generated by the Alaska salmon traps as they were actually deployed and find that they saved roughly $4 million (1967 dollars) per year, or about 12% of the ex-vessel value of the catch. I also find strong evidence that the fishermen operating from boats earned zero profits throughout the 20th century. Thus the State's ban on fish traps did allow 6,000 additional people to enter the fishery, but did nothing to boost average earnings.