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Keywords:

  • Adaptive policy;
  • climate change;
  • closed-loop Nash competitive solution;
  • concentration profile;
  • discrete-time continuous-state Markov decision model;
  • dynamic programming;
  • international fisheries management, noncooperative game

Abstract

Environmental change in general, and climate change in particular, can lead to changes in distribution of fish stocks. When such changes involve transboundary fish stocks, the countries sharing the stock need to reconsider their harvesting policies. We investigate the effects of changing stock distribution on the optimal fishing policies in a two players’ noncooperative game. We compare reactive management, under which the manager ignores future distributional shifts (knowingly or unknowingly), with proactive management where the manager considers such shifts in his decisions. A dynamic programming model is developed to identify closed-loop Nash strategies. We show that the role of two players is symmetric under reactive management but asymmetric under proactive management where managers anticipate future changes in stock ownership. The player losing the stock tends to harvest more aggressively compared to the player gaining the stock who acts more conservatively. Strategic interactions show tendency for complementary actions that can change abruptly during the ownership transition. The differences between management regimes vary from quantitative to qualitative; differences are minimal for stocks with little or no schooling, whereas highly schooling stocks may avoid collapse only under proactive management.