ON AVOIDANCE ACTIVITIES IN FISHERY ENFORCEMENT MODELS

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Abstract

Compliance and enforcement in fisheries are important issues from an economic point of view since management measures are useless without a certain level of enforcement. These conclusions come from the well-established theoretical literature on compliance and enforcement problems within fisheries and a common result is that, it is efficient to set fines as high as possible and monitoring as low as possible, when fines are costless and offenders are risk neutral. However, this result is sensitive to the assumption that fishermen cannot engage in avoidance activities, e.g., activities to reduce the likelihood of being detected when noncomplying. The paper presents a model of fisheries that allows the fishermen to engage in avoidance activities. The conclusions from the model are that, under certain circumstances, fines are costly transfers to society since they not only have a direct positive effect on the level of deterrence, but also an indirect negative effect in the form of increased avoidance activities to reduce the probability of detection. The paper contributes to the literature on avoidance activities by introducing the externality from the illegal behavior as an endogenous effect on other offenders. For an externality, that has an exogenous effect on other actors, Malik shows that fines are only costly transfers for conditional deterrence (when one actor is deterred while another actor is not). For fisheries, we show that fines are also costly transfers under no deterrence (when no agents are deterred).

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