Economic analysis of flounder aquaculture
The U.S. domestic catch of wild fish for human consumption has increased since the mid 1980's due to the Americanization of the United States Fisheries (USDC 1995). Recently however, this catch has been declining due to shrinking stocks and restrictive management regimes (USDC 1996). As a result, the U.S. has increased it reliance on both domestically produced aquacultured fish and imports of wild and aquacultured fish to meet demand from a rising population and changes in eating habits (USDA 1996).^ Research on new and existing aquaculture efforts have historically concentrated on the biology of a species and the engineering of the production facility. It would be erroneous to assume that a firm can profitably culture a fish given what a model determines is the optimal control when everything else is held constant. Therefore, to thoroughly assess the feasibility of an aquaculture enterprise, consumer preferences, the market and production regime must be evaluated simultaneously in a dynamic stochastic framework that more closely approximates reality than restrictive optimization models.^ The goal of this research is to identify if a firm can produce summer flounder in a land-based recirculating system in the current and projected market environment and have a positive net present value over a 10-year planning horizon. To address this goal we first identified the preferences and choice behavior of buyers in the high valued niche market of sushi/sashimi quality flounder using the nested multinomial, conditional multinomial and rank ordered logit models. The results indicate that sushi chefs and wholesale buyers evaluate different product attributes in their choice decision and that ranking profiles may not imply which profile is actually chosen.^ We then evaluated the potential costs and returns of supplying this market niche using a dynamic stochastic model of a land-based production facility where a producer can follow different selling strategies. The results indicate that a producer may be better positioned to experience a positive net present value when they locate near and use a source of saltwater, sell their product predominately to sushi chefs who desire medium sized live fish, and engage in strategies that account for market dynamics. ^
Business Administration, Marketing|Economics, Agricultural|Economics, Theory|Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture
David Andrew Zucker,
"Economic analysis of flounder aquaculture"
Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access).