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Economics, property rights and fishery management (Occassional paper No 10)

Campbell, H 2007 , Economics, property rights and fishery management (Occassional paper No 10).

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Lyndhurst Falkiner Giblin was an extraordinary person: son of a Premier of Tasmania, graduate of Kings College, Cambridge, rugby internationalist (representing England), gold prospector in the Klondike, a voyageur with the Hudson Bay Company, ocean yachtsman, member of the Federal Parliament, a soldier on the Western Front (thrice wounded and twice decorated for bravery), and, according to one source, the first European to climb Mt Anne, to name a few of the parts he played. He also had a pivotal role in developing the discipline of economics at the University and making Tasmania the centre of economic studies in Australia prior to the Second World War. He was for a time Professor of Economics at the University of Melbourne, an associate of John Maynard Keynes, and an analyst of the Great Depression who anticipated some of the important developments of economic theory that have contributed significantly to the management of modern economies.

Giblin’s professional life was marked by meticulous attention to the measurement of economic variables, establishing their relationships and testing these against the predictions of economic theory. He was preoccupied with statistics, and the methods that he used to interpret them were what we now describe as applied econometrics. One of the many roles he assumed during his life was that of Statistician to the Government of Tasmania, and I think it is appropriate that I begin this lecture commemorating his life and work with some statistics.

My topic is the role of property rights in marine capture fisheries, but given the awareness in Tasmania of the importance of aquaculture I will start with some figures on the relative importance of these two sectors of the fishing industry. World annual marine and inland aquaculture production has been steadily increasing to around 40 million mt, whereas annual production from marine capture fisheries seems to have hit a plateau (for the present) at 80 million mt, with a further 10 million mt coming from capture fisheries in inland lakes. The statistics on production of capture fisheries refer to landings, rather than catches – they omit the further 30 million mt of discarded by-catch. Of the landings of capture fisheries about one-third is used as feed for aquaculture species (10 million mt) or farm animals (20 million mt). In other words, of the fish we eat directly, 40% is farmed and 60% comes from capture of wild fish. Of the wild fish we catch we eat half directly, use a quarter as feed in farming, and throw a quarter away. I now turn to consideration of the world’s marine capture fisheries.

Item Type: Report (Working Paper)
Authors/Creators:Campbell, H
Keywords: Economics, Property Rights and Fishery Management, RePEc
Publisher: School of Economics & Finance, University of Tasmania
Additional Information:

This paper was delivered as part of the Giblin Lecture Series, hosted by the School of Economics an Finance and the Economics Society (Tasmanian Branch).

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