International fishery access agreements allow fishermen from one country to harvest fish in another country’s waters. We empirically examine why countries sign fisheries access agreements with each other and compare these to the characteristics of countries that choose to undertake international trade. Using a unique global panel dataset, we show that access agreements and fish exports are driven by two key motives: a pattern of comparative advantage in fishing, which depends on fish stocks and fishing capacities; and gravity factors of economic size and distance. Our results suggest that most gravity factors work similarly for the dual pathways of agreements and exports: larger countries that are closer to each other are more likely to sign access agreements or to trade. However, the pattern of advantage is determined differently: source countries with larger fishing capacity are more likely to export fish, while source countries with lower fishing capacity are more likely to sign agreements.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law