Paper presented at the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society (AARES) 2016 Conference.
Achieving an efficient allocation of fishery resource stocks between commercial and recreational fishers is often hampered by incomplete information about the economic value of these fisheries to the community. Economic data for Australia's recreational fishing sector are currently not readily available in a form that can be used for resource allocation decisions. The little data that are available provide a limited picture of the economic value of the sector. This is largely due to the non-market nature of goods produced by recreational fishing.
This paper provides a theoretical framework for how non-market values associated with recreational fishing can be derived using the travel cost method. It then combines this with economic information from the commercial sector to assess the effect of changes in allocation of a fish stock between recreational and commercial fishers. The framework assumes that the commercial and recreational catch is regulated via a total allowable catch. The paper also highlights some of the impediments of using this framework in applied analysis. The description of the travel cost method in a recreational fishing context is supported by a summary of some recent work undertaken by ABARES in valuing game fishing activities in eastern Australia.