Fisheries Management in the Galapagos Marine Reserve: A Bioeconomic Perspective
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Despite numerous efforts and a large investment by the Ecuadorian Government and the international community, fishery management in Galapagos remains highly conflictive and essentially ineffective. Levels of mistrust and lack of communication have eroded the governance mechanisms in place to resolve conflicts over competing uses in the Reserve. In an effort to provide new information and analytical content into the policy debate regarding fisheries management in the marine reserve, the authors of this paper developed this research utilizing an economic approach to regulating use of the primary commercial fisheries in Galapagos. In particular, the objective of this study is to determine the optimal harvest, escapement, and fishing effort for the small-scale fishing fleet of the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR). In this study, the focus of attention is the two most important fisheries: the sea cucumber (pepino de mar, or "pepino") and the spiny red lobster. The authors base their analysis on a stochastic discrete time bioeconomic model developed by Reed (1979).