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Optimum tax on foreign fishing in Africa protects stocks and domestic fishing
Date:6/7/2011

se simple fishing techniques and are unable to utilise their entire economic fishing zones.

- If the government in a coastal developing country holds reliable data on the factors relevant to fishing taxation, they can use our bioeconomic model to set an optimum taxation level for foreign ships undertaking offshore fishing within the economic zone of that country, says Kofi Vondolia.

The tax being proposed by researchers is regarded optimal since it will maximise net profits for the country which owns the fishing waters; Ghana, in this example. Alternatively, the tax can be set at a level just high enough to deter offshore fishing and bring maximum benefits to small-scale domestic coastal fishing. The latter will most likely not lead to maximum net profits for the country, but it may be preferable from a distribution point of view, since poor fishermen will benefit.

This tax reflects a number of factors, not least the biological link between offshore and inshore stocks, and how significant the levels of fish migration between these are. It also takes into account the reproduction rate of the fish species, the price of the fish, the cost of harvesting and the social discounting rate. This involves comparing current costs with costs arising in the future as well as comparing the income that is currently generated with future income.

- The fees foreign trawlers pay for offshore fishing at present are very low in comparison to our calculations. It is unlikely that the current level of charges lead to the highest possible welfare for the countries with fishing zones in which foreign vessels are fishing," says Kofi Vondolia.


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Contact: Kofi Vondolia
kofi.vondolia@economics.gu.se
46-031-786-4170
University of Gothenburg
Source:Eurekalert  

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