Stable and unstable equilibrium states in a fishery–aquaculture model

Harald Bergland, Pål Andreas Pedersen*, John Wyller

*Corresponding author for this work

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We study interactions between fishery and aquaculture using a 3D generalized Lotka–Volterra model, where we assume that the aquaculture production may affect the growth rate in the fish stock and the productivity in harvesting. In addition, input demands from both marine industries may result in effort competition. We identify conditions for the coexistence of a unique equilibrium state inside the first octant of the phase space and equilibrium states on its boundary. Conditions for stability and instability of these states are also given, thus showing the possibility of having bistability. The equilibrium point inside the first octant is stable if the growth impact on fishery from sea farming is below the potential productivity in harvesting. In the complementary case, we have an unstable interior equilibrium, and we may then end up in stable equilibrium states on the boundary, where either the fishery or the aquaculture is wiped out. Recommendations for Resource Managers. More empirical and theoretical research is needed to reveal types of interrelations between fisheries and aquaculture, and their importance for long run stability between the sectors. When designing policies for the aquaculture industries, managers should in particular be aware of possible long-term harmful effects from aquaculture to fisheries. Increased areas for sea farming reduce the relative profitability of the fishery, and if the area increases above a certain level, this could wipe out the fishery.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12200
JournalNatural Resource Modeling
Issue number2
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • Aquaculture
  • Fishery
  • Stability analysis
  • Steady state


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