Many authors have suggested the use of a cap and trade auction system to help reduce bycatch—the incidental take of species by fishing gear targeting other species—of sea turtles in the Hawaii-based swordfish longline fishery. However, we know of no quantitative evaluations of the method. We present a simple mathematical model to serve as a framework to evaluate bycatch auction systems quantitatively. We conclude that cap and trade auction systems have the potential to reduce sea turtle bycatch by creating a financial incentive, while keeping permit costs down to 2–3% of total revenues. While stringent regulations aimed at conserving endangered sea turtles would still be essential, implementation of an auction for issuing transferable bycatch permits would likely enhance the economic efficiency of the fleet. Sea turtle mortality could be reduced further if a shrinking cap on total turtle mortality was introduced, taking advantage of the incentives for reducing turtle mortality that are introduced by the cap and trade auction system.
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Quantitative evaluation of the performance of a permit auction system in reducing bycatch of sea turtles in the Hawaii swordfish longline fishery pdf Download