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MARINFORSKFISK-Marine ressurser og miljø - fiskeri

Developing flexible instruments for mixed fisheries

Alternative title: Utvikling av fleksible instrument for blanda fiskeri

Awarded: NOK 13.0 mill.

Many commercial fisheries worldwide suffer from overexploitation. In many mixed fisheries, where several species are fished in continually changing ratios, bycatch and high-grading are problems of particular relevance. However, species are often managed individually, with quotas that do not align with catch proportions. This may lead to inefficient fishing practices, technological adjustments, discarding and misreporting. In addition to fishing, environmental conditions are main drivers of variability in marine ecosystems. In this context, improved management systems are called for. This research project compares various forms of regulations for managing mixed fisheries. The working hypothesis is that successful implementation of mixed fisheries management may require a more flexible control than what is achieved with traditional instruments such as single species quota setting. Flexibility is achieved by using a scheme that allows for quota transfers within and between periods together with quota trading. This might be combined with suitable penalties/rewards, either financially and/or through adjustment of quotas. The quota flexibility facilitates the fishers' ability to balance catches and quotas in mixed fisheries and supports the implementation of what is known as Pretty Good Yield (PGY) measures. Empirical studies will be undertaken for mixed fisheries in the North Sea, however, implications for international fisheries will also be considered. Moreover, the studies will be undertaken with consideration to relevant international fisheries agreement. The project includes different methodologies including biological and bioeconomic modelling in static and dynamic settings. Compliance behaviour will be included, with a sociological approach on how more flexibility can improve regulation legitimacy.

This research project compares various forms of regulations for managing dynamic fisheries targeting mixed fisheries. Current systems of implementing quota regulations might induce incentives for discarding and misreporting. The working hypothesis is that a successful implementation of mixed fisheries management may require a more flexible control than what is achieved with traditional instruments. Flexibility is achieved while much of the control is maintained by using a scheme that allows for quota transfers within and between periods together with quota trading. This banking/borrowing feature is a roll-over to next year’s quota and might be combined with suitable penalties/rewards, either financially and/or through adjustment of future quotas. Banking/borrowing without a penalty/reward scheme might give too much flexibility for vessels resulting in less control. The quota flexibility facilitates the fishers' ability to balance catches and quotas in mixed fisheries and supports the implementation of Pretty Good Yield (PGY) measures. The project is organised in four Work Packages: WP 1 further develops the biological part of the multispecies FLBEIA North Sea bioeconomic model by applying new knowledge and by incorporating Norwegian data. WP 2 introduces more modules in the bioeconomic model and evaluates short-run and long-run effects on fleet investments and fleet dynamics with respectively malleable and non-malleable capital. WP 3 studies compliance behaviour using static and dynamic models. WP 3 also take a sociological approach on how to achieve sufficient legitimacy and regulatory compliance in the industry by studying current legal frameworks, marketing structures and enforcement practices. WP 4 investigates compliance motivation among fishers using a survey and involves various stakeholders to find their priorities and get their feedback.

Funding scheme:

MARINFORSKFISK-Marine ressurser og miljø - fiskeri