The Prominence of Japan in the Alaskan King Crab Fishery
The Alaskan king crab fishery has undergone dramatic changes in the past two decades, precipitated by unprecedented fishery growth, followed by collapse. Yet, fishery management decisions make no consideration of Japan's implicit or potential role in Alaskan king crab fishery policy. This paper initially identifies the factors contributing to Japan's prominence in the Alaskan king crab market and then presents an econometric model of wholesale price formation in Japan and the United States. The model deviates substantially from the only other market analysis of the Alaskan king crab fishery. The elasticity associated with the exchange rate is of special interest because processors appear to target this single factor as the most important barometer of Japanese demand. The US and Japanese demand models differ in functional form. A falling exchange rate should expand Japanese demand and, thus, wholesale price in both markets.