Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8861
Title: Quantifying and predicting responses to a West Coast salmon fishery closure
Author: K. Richerson, Daniel S. Holland
Publication Year: 2017
Journal: ICES Journal of Marine Science
Keywords: salmon,closure,participation,ecosystem,climate variability,

As anthropogenic changes interact with natural climate cycles, the variability of marine ecosystems is likely to increase. This variability influences the behavior of fishermen, which can affect the profitability and sustainability of stocks and may have wider economic and ecological effects. We use data from the West Coast salmon troll fishery before, during, and after a large-scale closure to illustrate how changes in resource availability influence the behavior of fishing vessels in heterogeneous ways.  We find that vessels were less likely to participate in any kind of fishing during the closure, with >40% of vessels ceasing fishing during the closure and 17% exiting fishing permanently. Vessels that were more dependent on salmon were more likely to cease fishing during the closure, and more diversified vessels were more likely to continue fishing. Vessels that did fish saw on average a ~30% drop in revenue compared to their average revenue in the years before the closure. In spite of a high level of cross-participation across fisheries, we find limited evidence that vessels increased their participation in other fisheries during the closure. At the port level, ports that historically obtained more of their revenue from the salmon troll fleet saw larger relative decreases in their total revenue during the closure, and this effect persisted into 2010.  Overall, the closure was associated with a loss of ~$43 million in fishery revenue relative to the five year period before the closure.  Based on our models and the composition of the current fleet, we predict that a potential closure in the near future would have similar or greater impact, suggesting that a closure would cause another economic disaster. However, our results suggest that effects on fisheries linked by cross-participation are likely to be low. 


A quantitative analysis of how the 2008 West Coast salmon troll fishery closure impacted fishing participation and revenues including knock-on effects to other fisheries is undertaken along with a predictive analysis of what might occur with a future similar closure.

Theme: Ecosystem approach to improve management of marine resources
Foci: Provide scientific support for the implementation of ecosystem-based management
Describe the interaction between human activities, particularly harvest of marine resources, and ecosystem function.
Official Citation:

Richerson, K. and D.S. Holland 2017. Quantifying and predicting responses to a West Coast salmon fishery closure. ICES Journal of Marine Science