||The whale-watching industry is an important component of the New England regional
economy with about one million tourism visitors. Humpback whales are the most popular
whale-watching targets, whose primary activity in this area is feeding that mainly
on herrings. Meanwhile, the value of herring fisheries is more than $20M annually
and it is the major supply for canneries and lobster bait. According to the historical
document, over-harvesting of herrings may cause the dramatic depletion of humpback
This research investigates the economic benefits and losses of the ban on the harvesting
for herring in the New England area. I compare the revenue of herring fisheries and
whale-watching under different herring harvest levels through integrated economic-ecological
analysis. The marine ecosystem side will be modeled through EMAX food web. The socio-economical
analysis focuses on the herring fisheries and whale watching market price and quantity.
By comparing the two-sided benefits, this research evaluates if herring should be
left in the marine ecosystem or harvested.
The result indicated that the decrease of herring harvest would not cause dramatic
increase of the whale stock,, at least in the short term. Accordingly, the decline
of herring landing would not significantly or equally increases the revenue from the
whale watching tourism. The result suggests that the current herring fisheries landing
might not have a significant impact on the whale population.