Journal Article

Identifying the Potential for Cross-Fishery Spillovers: A Network Analysis of Alaskan Permitting Patterns

Apr 11, 2018 | Ethan T. Addicott, Kailin Kroetz, Matthew Reimer, James N. Sanchirico, Daniel K. Lew, Justine Huetteman


We investigate the links among jointly permitted fisheries in the Alaska region to better understand how policies aimed at one fishery may affect others.


Many fishermen own a portfolio of permits across multiple fisheries, creating an opportunity for fishing effort to adjust across fisheries and enabling impacts from a policy change in one fishery to spill over into other fisheries. In regions with a large and diverse number of permits and fisheries, joint-permitting can result in a complex system, making it difficult to understand the potential for cross-fishery substitution. In this study, we construct a network representation of permit ownership to characterize interconnectedness between Alaska commercial fisheries due to cross-fishery permitting. The Alaska fisheries network is highly connected, suggesting that most fisheries are vulnerable to cross-fishery spillovers from network shocks, such as changes to policies or fish stocks. We find that fisheries with similar geographic proximity are more likely to be a part of a highly connected cluster of susceptible fisheries. We use a case study to show that preexisting network statistics can be useful for identifying the potential scope of policy-induced spillovers. Our results demonstrate that network analysis can improve our understanding of the potential for policy-induced cross-fishery spillovers.