Lorena Fricke, PhD Research Assistant
Dep. of Economics, Environmental, Resource and Ecological Economics University of Kiel
Trophic cascades caused by overfishing are regularly observed in marine ecosystems experiencing a regime shift. This indicates that, while overfishing impedes the resilience of the system, additional external drivers (e.g. climate change) might give the final kick for the ecosystem to shift to another state. We focus on the economic causes of such shifts by investigating the drivers under which an unregulated exploitation of the system is not viable and collapses from an economic perspective. We develop an ecological-economic model of an open access fishery, explicitly taking into account the input markets for fishery production. We find that inelastic input supply impedes the resilience of the fishery. Lastly, we show that the predictions of our model match empirical data quite well.