|Hoagland, P., An overview of the economics of deep-sea fisheries, Proc. Deep-sea Fisheries: Ecology, Economics and Conservation. Woods Hole, Mass.: Ocean Life Institute, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the New England Aquarium (12-14 September). Last accessed on 19 August 2005: http://www.whoi.edu/institutes/oli/activities/symposia_ deepsea_program.htm, 2005|
Deep-sea fisheries are prosecuted at depths below 400-500 meters mainly on the high seas beyond national jurisdictions. As a consequence of technological advances, the exclusion of distant water fishing fleets from fishery conservation zones, and the discovery of palatable species on seamounts, catches of deep-sea fishes are now believed to be growing at much faster rates than catches of neritic and epipelagic fishes. Over the last few years, the estimated worldwide landed value of deep-sea fishes has been averaging about $3 billion on catches of 3 million metric tons annually. Some deep-sea fish species exhibit biological characteristics (low intrinsic growth rates) that may make them relatively more susceptible to over-exploitation?and possibly even to localized eradication?than many coastal species. Significant incentive problems face the nations that seek to participate in international or regional fishery management organizations. Existing institutions for regulating fishing effort on deep-sea fisheries are rudimentary, and their conservation and management measures are costly to monitor and enforce. Ironically, many potential deep-sea fisheries, i.e., those located at seamounts, now are protected only because they have not yet been discovered. As we begin to find and explore these ecosystems, the non-market economic value (mainly ?existence? value) of preserving them is likely to grow. At the same time, publication of the characteristics and locations of these ecosystems may increase the likelihood of their commercial exploitation at inefficient rates.