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Fuel price increase, subsidies, overcapacity, and resource sustainability


Sumaila, UR and Teh, L and Watson, RA and Tyedmers, P and Pauly, D, Fuel price increase, subsidies, overcapacity, and resource sustainability, ICES Journal of Marine Science, 65, (6) pp. 832-840. ISSN 1054-3139 (2008) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsn070


Global fisheries are currently overcapitalized, resulting in overfishing in many of the world's fisheries. Given that fuel constitutes a significant component of fishing costs, we expect recent increases in fuel prices to reduce overcapacity and overfishing. However, government fuel subsidies to the fishing sector reduce, if not completely negate, this positive aspect of increasing fuel costs. Here, we explore the theoretical basis for the expectation that the increasing fuel prices faced by fishing enterprises will reduce fishing pressure. Next, we estimate the amount of fuel subsidies to the fishing sector by governments globally to be in the range of US$4.2-8.5 billion per year. Hence, depending on how much of this subsidy existed before the recent fuel price increases, fishing enterprises, as a group, can absorb as much as this amount of increase in their fuel budget before any conservation benefits occur as a result of fuel price increases. © 2008 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Published by Oxford Journals. All rights reserved.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Fisheries subsidies; Fuel subsidies; Global fisheries; cost-benefit analysis; fuel; overfishing; price dynamics; resource management; subsidy system; sustainability
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 fin fish (excl. tuna)
UTAS Author:Watson, RA (Professor Reginald Watson)
ID Code:83752
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:126
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2013-03-21
Last Modified:2013-03-21

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