Agricultural Economics Department


First Advisor

Simanti Banerjee

Date of this Version



A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Agricultural Economics, Under the Supervision of Professor Simanti Banerjee. Lincoln, Nebraska: August, 2017

Copyright (c) 2017 Nadeeka Weerasekara


This thesis contributes to the literature of economics of small-scale fishery communities and fishery management in developing nations. In the first section we review literature on state of the fishery resource and the livelihoods in the globe and performance of fishery management systems in developing and developed countries. Second section discusses the results of an empirical study on the economics of subsistence fishers in Digha-Shankarpur in Eastern India. Results of the empirical study shows by-catch by the trawlers leads to the depletion of target fish stock of the subsistence fishers. Underutilization of the capacity by the subsistence fishers due to the lack of fish stock leads to income losses and inequitable profit distributions among fishers. Ultimately, lack of fish stock generates competition among subsistence fishers. Given the identified economic conditions of fishers from the survey and the literature on ecological studies, we focus on policy measures which can tackle the dual problem of resource depletion and unsustainable competitive pressures on the small-scale fishers. To this end in the third section we present a general scenario analysis concerning the welfare of industry participants when there is a well-defined rights based fishery management policy in place. To support the policy design we extensively study the Digha industry setting and the status quo management of Digha fishery. Given the heterogeneity of fishers and the segmented markets in Digha fishery and the conflicts of interests among fisher groups, we consider two TAC policy designs to regulate two segmented markets namely, trawler boat fishers and subsistence fishers. According to the scenario analysis, two TACs for subsistence and trawler boat fishers with an ITQ system is a better fit to achieve the sustainability goals of the Digha fishery. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of the TAC policy on trawlers depends on the magnitude of by-catch reduction. Also, the policy implementation is critical due to the poverty conditions in the developing countries. However, this study makes a case for policy makers and researchers to carry out an informed cost benefit analysis in implementing a TAC-ITQ policy in a developing country fishery setting.

Advisor: Simanti Banerjee