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Abstract

This study presents an optimal control model of the Banana Northern Prawn Fishery, one of the most important fisheries in Australia. The life cycle of this species involves migration between the sea, where the catch takes place, and the estuary, where post-larvae and juveniles develop. The model combines a stage-matrix population dynamics model and an economic model of sustainable catch. The controls involve the amount of effort allowed and the length of the fishing season. Life stages are defined in terms of prawn size, allowing catch revenue to be adjusted to the expected proportion of specific sized classes caught in a particular month of the year, hence providing a more realistic projection of profits when price is influenced by size. The model is calibrated based on 18 years of detailed catch data.

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