PhD student Keita Abe the 'kingfish' in Fisheries Economics best paper award

Submitted by Nicole Johns on
Keita Abe and Jennifer Meredith at the awards presentation for NAAFE Forum 2017 (photo: NAAFE)

Fisheries economists from the world over converged last week on La Paz in Southern Baja California, Mexico, for the biennial North American Association of Fisheries Economists (NAAFE) 2017 Forum, The Economics of Aquaculture, Fisheries and Seafood Trade: Managing the Socio-Ecology of Sustainable Marine Resource Use.

Of the four graduate student awards given at the Forum, two were awarded to UW Economics students – a strong showing for our graduate program and its emphasis on natural resource economics. 

Fourth-year graduate student Keita Abe was awarded the “best student paper” prize for his paper, “Harvesters’ Dynamic Decision on Fishing Trip Length”. This award recognizes the most outstanding paper presented at the Forum according to a panel judging on creativity, originality, and contribution to theory, methods, and/or application. The award comes with a financial prize and a travel stipend for the Forum.

Abe, a research assistant in the department, is conducting research focused on the dynamic decision-making process of resource harvesters in fisheries, for both short term (one fishing trip) and at the annual or seasonal level. Abe is working closely with dissertation co-chairs Robert Halvorsen and Chris Anderson, an associate professor in the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and adjunct associate professor in the Department of Economics.

“By applying methods in empirical industrial organization and labor economics, I analyze and predict harvester behavior and apply it to form natural resource management policies,” Abe said. “I am also working on the relationship between international trade and fisheries resource management.”

Abe earned an MA in economics at the University of British Columbia, an MS in Environmental Science at Hokkaido University (Japan), and a BA in Policy Studies at Kwansei Gakuin University (Japan).

Also at the Forum, UW Economics graduate student Jennifer Meredith won an honorable mention for best student presentation for her talk based on the paper, “Fish or Flight: Household Survey Evidence of the Impact of Transferable Permits on the Migration Decisions of Rural Alaskan Salmon Harvesters.”

In addition to a visiting assistant professor appointment in economics at Seattle Pacific University, Meredith is conducting dissertation research under Assistant Professor Rachel Heath. She earned her BA in Economics and French at Westmont College and her MA in International and Development Economics at the University of San Francisco.

NAAFE is an international group of industry, government and academic practitioners of fisheries economics. The purposes of NAAFE are to facilitate communication among North American fisheries and aquaculture economists in industry, academia, government and other areas, to promote dialogue between economists and others interested in fisheries and aquaculture, and to advance fisheries and aquaculture economics and its useful applications.