Costs of processing salmon limit the reward for managing predators and prey together

In Chignik, Alaska, sockeye salmon are preyed on when young by coho salmon; the sockeye support a valuable fishery, but coho do not. A simulation exercise examined whether fishers and processors might make more money if coho were reduced by fishing, under different levels of predation of coho on sockeye. Models suggested that fishers would end up with higher harvests, and make more money, but processors would probably not benefit because of the extra costs of processing low-value coho salmon. Without processors to purchase additional coho harvest, fishers would have limited short-term incentive to harvest coho. These results highlight the importance of considering the unique constraints and opportunities facing multiple stakeholders when weighing future management options. The work was conducted by SAFS PhD student Timothy Walsworth and professors Daniel Schindler and Timothy Essington and appears in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

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