Title: The potential of the artisanal Hilsa fisheries in Bangladesh: an economically efficient fisheries policy

Author(s): Masud Ara Mome
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The hilsa shad (Tenualosa ilisha) fishery is by far the largest single species fishery in Bangladesh. In this paper, a simple bio-economic year-class based model is developed to describe the fishery and examine its properties. With the help of this model, the optimum sustainable yield of the fishery is calculated and compared to the existing situation. In addition, the model is used to locate a socially and economically reasonable dynamic path from the current situation to the optimal one. The results indicate that the fishing effort (measured in standardised boat units) required to make the hilsa fishery attain sustainable maximum economic benefits is about one-third of the current fishing effort. At this sustainable fishing effort level, annual net economic benefits from the fishery would be worth about US $260 million according to my calculations compared to virtually nothing today. The present value of the fishery along a moderate effort adjustment path to this long-term equilibrium position is US $3,650 million at a 6% rate of discount. The dynamic path that maximises the present value of the fishery involves quite dramatic effort reductions for the first two years. Such a path would increase the present value of the fishery by perhaps 10-15%.

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