eCite Digital Repository

Comparing size-limit and quota policies to increase economic yield in a lobster fishery


McGarvey, R and Punt, AE and Matthews, JM and Feenstra, JE and Gardner, C and Burch, P and Hartmann, K and Linnane, A, Comparing size-limit and quota policies to increase economic yield in a lobster fishery, Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 72, (9) pp. 1292-1305. ISSN 0706-652X (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Canadian Science Publishing

DOI: doi:10.1139/cjfas-2014-0405


To advance economic and sustainability objectives in a lobster fishery, four broadly different management policies were evaluated: minimum and maximum size limits, constant catch quotas, and quota set yearly in proportion to the previous year’s catch per unit effort (CPUE). The performance of each policy was evaluated based on its discounted economic yield, together with egg production, catch, and catch stability. Maximum size limits performed poorly for all indicators. Raising the minimum size increased economic yield by improving yield-per-recruit. Output controls, both constant and dynamic, uniformly outperformed size limits, leading to substantially higher economic yield and egg production. A dynamic harvest control rule, setting quota in proportion to the previous year’s catch rate, achieved the highest economic yield, catch, and egg production over 20 years. The optimal (30%) exploitation rate under this policy produced a 182% improvement in economic yield compared with a baseline strategy of only minimum size, but led to a mean year-to-year change in quota of 11.5% in response to yearly variable recruitment. This quota-setting management regime is straightforward to implement, using only catch rate as input. When absolute exploitation rate estimates are not available, this quota-setting harvest control rule can be constructed using only a target level of effort.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:rock lobster
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Aquaculture and fisheries stock assessment
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Wild caught rock lobster
UTAS Author:Gardner, C (Professor Caleb Gardner)
UTAS Author:Burch, P (Dr Paul Burch)
UTAS Author:Hartmann, K (Dr Klaas Hartmann)
ID Code:102612
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:9
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2015-08-31
Last Modified:2017-11-04

Repository Staff Only: item control page