The role of expenditure studies in the (mis)allocation of access to fisheries resources in Australia

Daryl McPhee, Tor Hundloe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Economic benefits are often the main reasons put forward for changing fisheries access and allocation arrangements between commercial and recreational fishers. An analysis of several case studies in Australia identifies that the purported economic benefits from reallocating access to fisheries resources from commercial to recreational fishers are based on inappropriate approaches to economic valuation including the "revenues argument" and the "cumulative-value argument". The allocating of fisheries resources (on an economic basis) in an area between recreational and commercial fishers should not be based on simple but erroneous comparisons between recreational fishing expenditure and the gross value of production of commercial fishing. Rather, it should be based on comparing the benefit of an extra fish, or extra few fish, to each sector. If one sector is found to have a higher benefit, a small change in access should be made in its favour and, if necessary, a further series of small changes until the extra benefit gained by that sector is equal to the benefit gained (or lost) by the competing sector. However, any allocation decisions should not just focus on economic issues, but should also consider the ecological impacts and social costs and benefits attributable to both fishing sectors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-41
Number of pages8
JournalAustralasian Journal of Environmental Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


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