What's Fishing Worth?
Hasn't this research already been done, back in the late 1990s?
on 19 Aug 2015
The South Australian Centre for Economic Studies (SACES) undertook a large scale survey of mainly boat fishers in early 1999 to apply the contingent valuation method to estimate consumer surplus from marine recreational fishing in New Zealand.
The SACES study used responses from over 3500 interviews undertaken between 28 December 1998 and 11 April 1999 to assess the value of five individual fish species. Boat fishers were 94% of the sample. They used a national average number of fishing trips, of 24.7 per person per year, based on fisher recall. This is biased high compared to the number of trips recorded in year-long diary surveys, and is biased toward boat based fishing trips.
The SACES study used the take-it-or-leave-it approach to estimate willingness-to-pay (consumers’ surplus) from the current trip, which is a valid approach.
SACES results are reported on the basis of species targeted. Fishers could be targeting several species on the same trip, so categories are not exclusive. However, it is apparent from the study that catch of the specific target species under analysis was often less than for other species. In addition, many other factors were important drivers of consumer surplus.
Overall, there were some questions about the method and estimated generated. No attempt was made to estimate the economic impact of recreational fishing in New Zealand as a whole and the report was largely buried by the Fisheries Ministry who had paid for it.
Why don't you get some funding help from the Ministry for Primary Industries? They fund a lot of fisheries research to help with decisions.
on 12 Aug 2015
Early on in this process the New Zealand Marine Research Foundation did a feasibility study. As part of that study the Foundation approached the Ministry for Primary Industries for their support and feedback on the proposal. MPI was very clear, there were no funds available for this research.
The Foundation did manage to pass the research project through the Ministry’s research planning group and were grateful for their feedback. After all, the objective is for the Ministry to use the results with confidence when advising the Government.
It seems that this project could provide the spark needed for MPI to follow up with their own project, but there was no way that would have happened in 2015.
There are advantages to having this research totally independent, by being publicly funded. One is that we have control of the process, so we know it will be delivered on time, using efficient methods. Then we get to decide how and when it is presented to the public and Government Ministers.
Also, if it is independent there is no chance of the results being buried by officials worried about the political implications.
Another benefit is that we get access to the mainstream media to explain what we are trying to do and why. Radio and TV slots are already booked.
If fishers and caring Kiwis get behind this effort and smash our funding target, that will also send a strong message about how much we value our fishery.
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