Fishing location choice and risk preferences among small fishers – Implications for fisheries management policies

Riad Sultan

The study provides evidence for how risk preferences determine fishing location choices by artisanal fishers on the south-west coast of the island of Mauritius. Risk preference is modelled using a random linear utility framework defined over mean-standard deviation space. The study estimates expected revenue and revenue risk from the Just and Pope production function and applies the random parameter logit model to account for fisher-specific and location-specific characteristics. The findings are consistent with utility-maximising fishers, whereby the likelihood to choose a fishing location is positively associated with expected revenue and negatively related to revenue risk. Distance from fishing station to fishing grounds affects the choice of fishing location negatively. The estimated model allows heterogeneity in risk preferences and concludes that 51% of fishers can be classified as risk averse, 31% as risk seekers and the remaining as risk neutral. The study also estimates the degree of substitutability and complementarity between fishing locations based on the risk preferences of fishers and discusses the relevance of this for fisheries management policy.