Fishers in developing countries do not have the resources to acquire advanced technologies to exploit offshore fish stocks. As a result, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea requires countries to sign partnership agreements with distant water fishing nations (DWFNs) to exploit offshore stocks. However, for migratory stocks, the offshore may serve as a natural marine reserve (i.e., a source) to the inshore (i.e., sink); hence these partnership agreements generate spatial externality.
In this paper, we present a bioeconomic model in which a social planner uses a landing tax (ad valorem tax) to internalize this spatial externality. We found that the tax must reflect the biological connectivity between the two patches, intrinsic growth rate, the price of fish, cost per unit effort and social discount rate. The results are empirically illustrated using data on Ghana.
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