Managing fisheries to maximise profits by understanding and reducing variable costs of fishing
There are several reasons that targeted research on the variable cost of fishing is warranted as part of the bioeconomic activities of the theme. First, some fisheries regulations have evolved over long periods with lower fishing costs, a revision of these could increase the profitability of the fishery and may be necessary to ensure economic viability into the future. Secondly, fuel is one of the largest variable cost factors in most fisheries and has proven to be highly volatile in price over the last few years; extensive evidence suggests that fuel prices will continue to rise at rates significantly faster than most other costs. Third, the economic flows from fuel consumption tend to provide a lower contribution to GDP than other variable costs such as labour (due to the export nature of the cost); consequently disproportionate increases in fuel prices may result in a lower fishery contribution to GDP.
This PhD student will review and document variable costs of fishing and their composition in relevant (CRC) Australian fisheries and formulate future cost increase scenarios, utilise bioeconomic model capacity in fisheries where available to examine probable impacts of cost increase scenarios determined and explore alternative harvest strategies to target maximum economic yield under scenarios of increased fishing costs. Rob will also contrast traits of fisheries within the CRC to identify generalised patterns in vulnerability and management in response to increased fishing costs and utilise national and state input-output models to contrast the effect of alternative management strategies considered on state and national gross product.