Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Diversification of fishermen

Many fishermen on the Pacific coast participate in multiple fisheries. Some travel long distances each year moving up and down the coast and even between the West Coast and Alaska to pursue different fisheries. This diversification can increase the opportunities and income for fishermen and also reduce the variability of their income that is caused by shifts in abundance, prices and regulations in individual fisheries.

This project is focused on understanding the costs and benefits of diversification for individual fishermen and communities and also the factors that constrain or facilitate diversification. The project is being done in collaboration with Steve Kasperski at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center. We have already completed an analysis of the trends in diversification from 1981-2010 and the relationship between diversification and variability of revenues (Kasperski and Holland 2013). We are now exploring whether there are trade-offs between risk reduction and efficiency associated with diversification. We are also exploring trends and effects of diversification at the level of fishing communities.


Kasperski, S. and D.S. Holland 2013. Income Diversification and Risk for Fishermen. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. 100(6):2076-2081. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1212278110