On the bioeconomics of marine reserves when dispersal evolves
Moberg, Emily A.
Herrera, Guillermo E.
Neubert, Michael G.
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KeywordEvolution of dispersal; Evolutionarily stable strategy; Fisheries management; Marine protected areas; Optimal harvesting
Marine reserves are an increasingly used and potentially contentious tool in fisheries management. Depending upon the way that individuals move, no-take marine reserves can be necessary for maximizing equilibrium rent in some simple mathematical models. The implementation of no-take marine reserves often generates a redistribution of fishing effort in space. This redistribution of effort, in turn, produces sharp spatial gradients in mortality rates for the targeted stock. Using a two-patch model, we show that the existence of such gradients is a sufficient condition for the evolution of an evolutionarily stable conditional dispersal strategy. Thus, the dispersal strategy of the fish depends upon the harvesting strategy of the manager and vice versa. We find that an evolutionarily stable optimal harvesting strategy (ESOHS)—one which maximizes equilibrium rent given that fish disperse in an evolutionarily stable manner– - never includes a no-take marine reserve. This strategy is economically unstable in the short run because a manager can generate more rent by disregarding the possibility of dispersal evolution. Simulations of a stochastic evolutionary process suggest that such a short-run, myopic strategy performs poorly compared to the ESOHS over the long run, however, as it generates rent that is lower on average and higher in variability.
Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2015. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of John Wiley & Sons for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Natural Resource Modeling 28 (2015): 456-474, doi:10.1111/nrm.12075.
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