Fishers fine-tune their catch profiles following price fluctuations
Bottom trawl is usually considered a relative unselective fishing gear, but Taiwanese coastal trawl fishers show a good ability to change their catch profiles to match market demands
In a collaboration between Academia Sinica (Taiwan), Institute of Marine Research (Bergen), and UiB, Xiaozi Liu and her collaborators studied how daily catch profiles of coastal trawl fishers off Taiwan changed, compared to price signals from the market where the catches are auctioned. Despite the relatively indiscriminate nature of the gear used–bottom trawl–the fishers were often able to increase the share of the species with positive price signals in their catch (and coversely, catch less of the species with negative price signals). The maximum daily price elasticity of supply (PES) ranged from 0.4 to 1.1. The highest elasticities were estimated for shrimp scad (Alepes djedaba), Japanese butterfish (or Pacific rudderfish, Psenopsis anomala), and neritic squid. The catches were also strongly affected by sea condition (wave height) and, to a lesser extent, weekday.