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Josh E. Carter, Raven D. Walker, Dr. Glenn A. Jones, Ocean and Coastal Resources, Undergraduate History Repeats: A demand-supply price case study of the.

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Presentation on theme: "Josh E. Carter, Raven D. Walker, Dr. Glenn A. Jones, Ocean and Coastal Resources, Undergraduate History Repeats: A demand-supply price case study of the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Josh E. Carter, Raven D. Walker, Dr. Glenn A. Jones, Ocean and Coastal Resources, Undergraduate History Repeats: A demand-supply price case study of the 19 th century Diamond-back terrapin population collapse Menu Analysis Menus, or bills of fare, debuted in the US during the 1820s and became widespread by the 1850s (Jones, 2008). Ephemeral by design, they are typically discarded and replaced by a new menu. Those that have survived can now serve new purpose as a source of never-before examined price data for the items they feature. Recent character recognition software and digitization techniques have allowed databases of primary source collections such as newspaper archives and menus to be made usable for scientific research. After sorting through a host of menus that we selected menus from the 1850s to 1930s featuring entrée dishes containing diamond–back terrapin; in most cases the entrée dish featured was Terrapin a la Maryland. Menus were acquired from one online database (New York Public Library (NYPL) and two collections (NYPL and American Antiquarian Society). The majority of the menus found came from the “Buttolph-Collection ” housed at the NYPL. Newspaper Articles and Periodicals We used historical newspaper articles and periodicals as sources of information for assembling market wholesale data before We constructed a database with year, price, and state of origination for each item. Previous studies have used nontraditional datasets to study pre-1950 marine ecological systems including — menus (Jones 2008), fishery logbooks (Alexander’s 2009), and cookbooks (Levin and Dufault’s 2010). Fisheries catch data reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) dates back to 1950, therefore market data for diamond–back terrapin is not readily available before or after The majority of newspaper articles and periodicals were collected from the New York Times and Chicago Tribune. Inflation Adjustment We converted menu and market prices using the 2010 Sahr Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustment inflation factor. Using inflation–adjusted market and menu values we graphically plotted values to demonstrate the data trend for the market behavior of supply–demand for terrapin and the relationship to the CPI. Each inflation–adjusted market and menu data point shows the purchasing power of $1 in 2010 US (i.e. $120 per dozen in 1897 = $3158 in 2010 US dollars). Organization of Data To estimate the probability of distribution of the menu and market data, we used statistical bins as a graphing tool to show the mean value for four year intervals. Discussion Methods Data Analysis Introduction Results Historically, the first living resources to be affected by anthropogenic changes have been those found in estuary systems and near-shore coastal waters (Lotze et al., 2006, Lotze 2010). Of these resources, freshwater and marine turtles have historically been utilized for sale in food markets and the pet trade. Increasing demand for turtles in Chinese food markets has led to a decline in several Southeast Asian species and an increase in turtle imports from the United States. Survival of the Southeast Asian Box Turtle (Cuora amboinensis) is threatened throughout its range due to international trade as a food commodity and use in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). At present time catch regulations in Indonesia is non science-based, driven by demand to supply importing countries. Diamondback Terrapin: Then & Now in Chesapeake Bay, terrapin feed on various snails that damage marsh grasses. Years before diamond–back terrapin were favored as a high–class delicacy, they were food for slaves. Demand for terrapin proliferated once the potential of this ingredient was realized. In most cases the terrapin was intended only for the richest of diners. Terrapin stew quickly became a premium entrée that was featured on the menus of restaurants such as the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, NY and The Continental in Philadelphia, PA. Recommendations We were able to quantify that the growth in consumer demand led to an increase in the wholesale value of diamond–back terrapin from $20 (US$400 in 2010) per dozen in 1875 to an astonishing $120 (US$3158 in 2010) per dozen at its peak in Correspondingly, menu prices ranged from $0.75/dish (US$12.93) in 1863 to $4.50/dish (US$104.00) in Market increased exponentially over a 20-year span from 1880 to 1900 reflecting the rapid growth in demand for terrapin. Market prices declined soon after 1897, while menu prices began to decline in Compared with other commercially important living resources of the bay system, the demand– supply price behavior of terrapin increased at a faster rate than that of canvas-back duck, oyster, and blue crab. Market behavior of the Southeast Asian box turtle appears to resemble that of terrapin during the late 1800s, following a similar sharp increase in demand–supply price. Ephemera Figure 3a. Menu from Hotel Knickerbocker in New York City, NY, December 25, (New York Public Library – Buttolph Collection). A price of $3.50 ($85.25 in 2010US$) for Terrapin a la Maryland. Figure 4. Newspaper clipping from the New York Times in 1891, exclaiming the noticeable decline in terrapin for the markets and absence from menus. Figure 3b & 3c. Such historical documents can be used to map the prices of popular delicacies of the time, some of which are no longer available for the consumer. In the US and Indonesia the turtle is not typically favored as a local delicacy in its country of origin, but the meat sells for up to $20/lb. in China (MD legislators 2010). The US is a major exporter of turtles to East Asian markets. In some ways the decline in the Southeast Asian box turtle parallels that of the diamond–back terrapin in the US during 1880s to 1920s. Diamond–back terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) now faces threats of over- harvesting after years of high demand during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The terrapin is a small, estuarine emydid turtle with a geographic range from Cape Cod to Texas (Ernst et al., 1994) and is exclusively endemic to coastal salt marshes, estuaries, and tidal creeks of the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States. Essential to the balance of the ecosystem As global wealth rises, so does global consumption of meat, which includes wild meat. Turtle meat used to be a rare delicacy in the Asian diet, but no longer. China, along with Hong Kong and Taiwan, has vacuumed the wild turtles out of most of Southeast Asia. -Eating the Wild, The New York Times, January 26, 2009 Figure 5. Menu from the Continental Hotel Restaurant in Philadelphia, PA, March 26, (Jones Collection 2012). Prices of relevant species for this study are identified with a checkmark and are reproduced in Table 1. Note: Considered to be disposable ephemera, menus such as this one from the Continental Hotel Restaurant (1863) rarely survived past their use. Such historical documents can be used to map the prices of popular delicacies of the time, some of which are no longer available for the consumer. Figure 6. The consumer price index and pre-1913 equivalent. Menu and market items are non-inflation adjusted. Note the difficulty in identifying any rate of change On this plot, the `850 value is US$0.56 meaning the purchasing power of US$0.56 in `850 is the equivalent of US$`0 in In this case, a plot of constant dollars would be a representative value of US$10 for all years from 1850 to 2010 (Sahr 2010). Figure 8. Bin plot showing inflation-adjusted market prices per dozen for diamond–back terrapin from 1850 to the late 1910s. Figure 9. Plot showing the inflation rate of the menu entree prices of diamond-back terrapin, Blue Crab, dozen oysters on the half shell, and Canvas-back duck. Figure 7. Bin plot showing the inflation-adjusted menu prices of diamond–back terrapin from 1850 to Figure 10. Plot showing menu prices of diamond-back terrapin from 1850 to 1950 and the Southeast Asian box turtle which was around References The future of the Southeast Asian Box turtle and other turtles is now in question. Consumption patterns in China resemble past terrapin demand– supply. According to data collected from turtle trade TRAFFIC reports, prices of turtle on the global market have closely followed inflation rates as supply has supported the demand (Schoppe 2009). In the late 1990s, prices for turtle escalated due to the demand increasing faster than the inflation rate. We believe this is due to China’s recent economic growth and enlarged middle class income per capita. If the current exploitation rates of the box turtle continue, we suspect it will become commercially extinct just as the terrapin did in the early 20 th century. We recommend that federal legislation be proposed that would robustly regulate the imports/exports of turtles destined for trade in Chinese food markets. Figure 1. Plot showing the wholesale inflation-adjusted market values for Southeast Asian Box turtles. (Schoppe 2009) Figure 2. The diamond–back terrapin is the only turtle in the world that is specially adapted to spend its entire life in estuarine waters. (Ernst et al 1994) The reign of the diamondback terrapin as an American delicacy was short- lived, becoming a coveted dish of the wealthy by the 1880s and declining in popularity by the 1920s. For reasons unknown, the market for terrapin in the Northeastern US was met with an abrupt decline, in effect becoming commercially extinct in northern portions of the terrapin’s range (Hildebrand and Hatsel 1926). Concerns expressed in national newspapers of the period indicate that increasing ‘extermination’ rates would lead to the depletion of the resource. There are similarities in the data of diamondback terrapin consumption in the US when compared with the Southeast Asian Box turtle consumption in China (Figure 9). The menu price of diamondback terrapin followed the rate of inflation from 1845 to the early 1880s when supply was large enough to accommodate the low demand. However, a distinct rise in the demand for terrapin in restaurants rose faster than the inflation rate from the 1880s to the early 1920s. We suggest this is due to the passing of the Prohibition Act of 1919, because sherry wine was a main ingredient in terrapin dishes. The Prohibition Act may have saved the existence of the diamondback terrapin. The Southeast Asian Box turtle appeared in Chinese markets in the late 1970s. Since then the market price has followed the inflation rate, in which the supply has supported the demand (Schoppe 2009). However, new 21 st century demand for turtles in the market has led to a sharp increase in prices (Figure 9). We believe this is accompanied with Chinese citizens’ recent gain in expendable income. In the regions of Southeast Asia where turtles do persist, biologists say, they are fast disappearing to satisfy the huge, some say infinite, demand for turtles in China. - The New York Times, May 4, 1999 Inflation-adjusted Prices in 2010 $US in 2010 $US Alexander, KE, Leavenworth, WB, Cournane, J and 11 others. (2009). Gulf of Maine cod in 1861: historical analysis of fishery logbooks, with ecosystem implications. Fish and Fisheries, 10, Eating the Wild. (2009). The New York Times. Web. 15 April Ernst, CH, Lovich, JE and Barbour, RW. (1994). Turtles of the United States and Canada. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 578pp. Gibbons, JW et al. (2001). Demographic and Ecological Factors Affecting Conservation and Management of the Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) in South Carolina. Chelonian Conservation and Biology, 4(1):66–74. Hildebrand, SF, and Hatsel C. (1926). Diamond-back terrapin culture at Beaufort, N.C. U.S. Bureau Fisheries, Econ. Circ, 60, Jones, GA (2008). ‘Quite the Choicest Protein Dish’: The Costs of Consuming Seafood in American Restaurants, In Starkey, DJ, Holm, P, and Barnard, M (Eds.), Oceans Past. (pp 47-76). Earthscan: London, England. Levin, PS and Dufault, A. (2010). Eating up the food web. Fish and Fisheries, 11, Lotze, HK, Lenihan, HS, Bourque, BJ, and 7 others. (2006). Depletion, Degradation, and Recovery Potential of Estuaries and Coastal Seas. Science, 312, Lotze, HK. (2010). Historical Reconstruction of Human-Induced Changes in US Estuaries. Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review, 48, MD legislators ban commercial harvest of diamondback terrapins.(2010). Chesapeake Bay Journal. Web. 15 April Sahr, R. C. (2010). Conversion factors to convert current dollars from years 1774 to estimated 2021 to dollars of CPI. Political Science Department, Oregon State University, Oregon. Schoppe, S. (2009). Status, trade dynamics and management of the Southeast Asian Box Turtle in Indonesia. A Traffic Southeast Asia Report, Yoon, CK. (1999). Turtles vanish in black hole: soup pots and pans of China. The New York Times. Web. 15 April Southeast Asian box turtle


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