ARE student Pierce Donovan presented his research on shadow value viability and bycatch management in fishery.
The benefits from avoiding [irreversible] extinction events are often not well-known, which makes an expected net benefits approach to conservation problems difficult to justify. A viable control strategy instead focuses on limiting the risk of extinction to some acceptable level. In this paper, Pierce extends a recently developed shadow value viability approach for solving conservation problems with dynamic programming. As a social planner problem, the method involves identifying the loss from extinction that drives enough conservation effort to ensure survival with a given confidence. In the numerical application, the Pacific leatherback turtle population co-mingles with the California drift gillnet swordfish fishery and the risk of bycatch threatens both turtle survival and swordfish revenues. Using the social [fishery] planner’s shadow value of leatherback extinction, Pierce sets market-based instruments for managing turtle bycatch that incentivize socially-optimal fishing behavior among decentralized fishers. This approach translates the viability objective into economic terms so that conservation and commercial harvest can be rationally integrated.
Pierce is currently on the job market and this paper is his job market paper. The manuscript is available on his personal website.