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Marine policy prof accorded international honor

Lee Anderson, professor of marine policy

2:22 p.m., Sept. 13, 2006--Lee Anderson, professor of marine policy in UD's College of Marine and Earth Studies, has received the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade's 2006 Distinguished Service Award.

The International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET) is an international group of economists, government managers, private industry members and others interested in the exchange of research and information on marine resource issues.

The announcement of the award, which is given every two years, and the presentation of a commemorative plaque recognizing Anderson's contributions, took place in July at IIFET's conference in Portsmouth, England.

The plaque presented to Anderson cited his “contributions to the theory and practice of fisheries economics and to promoting a worldwide exchange of perspectives and information on fisheries issues.”

“I was very honored to receive this award,” Anderson said. “IIFET is the largest and the only worldwide organization for fisheries economists. Further, I have a lot of respect for the other people who have previously received this award.”

IIFET's executive committee also cited Anderson's contributions as an author of textbooks used worldwide in the study of fisheries economics.

Anderson has worked with market-based management programs, known as Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQ), and helped to develop and implement an ITQ program in New Zealand.

Individual transferable quotas, which have more recently been called dedicated access privilege programs, assign harvest “rights” to individuals or to other entities that grant permission to take certain portions of the total allowable catch of a fish stock. The assignments or shares are divisible and transferable and may be traded or sold under a market system. These programs allow for the fish stock to be used at a sustainable level. They also create incentives for participants to harvest the catch as efficiently as possible and to sell it in the highest valued market. Traditional management measures such as closed seasons cause a race to fish, which raises harvesting costs and lowers product value.

Anderson, who was committee chairperson of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council in the early 1990s when the surf clam ITQ was approved as the first federal market-based fishery management plan, said that the industry is gradually moving in the direction of such fisheries management programs.

“Although the New Zealand program was the first major ITQ program in the world, they are becoming more and more common,” Anderson said. “They can be found, in one form or another, in almost all the
countries in the world. The notion of market-based management has changed the way people look at fisheries.”

Books by Anderson include The Economics of Fisheries Management (1976 and 1985); Economic Analysis of Fisheries Management; and Fisheries Economics: Collected Essays, Volumes I and II. He also has written many journal articles on various aspects of the economics of fisheries management.

A 1966 graduate of Brigham Young University with a bachelor's degree in economics, Anderson received his doctorate in economics from the University of Washington in 1970. In addition to fisheries economics and management and ITQs, his research interests include fisheries simulation models.

Anderson, who recently signed a contract to author a book on fisheries bioeconomics, works with the Office of Policy of the National Marine Fisheries Services on a regular basis.

A division of the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, the National Marine Fisheries Service is a federal agency responsible for the stewardship of the nation's living marine resources and their habitat.

Article by Jerry Rhodes
Photo by Kathy F. Atkinson

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