A biological and socioeconomic impact assessment of the effects of a proposed management experiment: to suspend all quotas in the Kattegat in favour of an effort management regime.
Why this study?
In 2005 the North Sea RAC proposed to suspend TACs and quotas for the demersal fishery in the Kattegat (between Denmark and Sweden) and replace them with a pilot effort management regime. The aim of the initiative was to promote cod recovery and reduce discards while improving the profitability of the demersal fleets.
After further considerations it was the intention of the European Commission to implement such a pilot effort regime for a period of five years from January 2007. In order to be able to continually improve such a regime, as well as learn from the initiative in a wider sense, it was necessary to be able to measure what effects it had on the biological, economic and social situation in the Kattegat demersal fishery. However, due to various reasons and despite discussions between the North Sea RAC, the Commission and the Member States the Kattegat pilot effort management scheme has not been established.
The goal of this study is to determine base-line date on the different fisheries operating in the Kattegat and develop a framework of information to evaluate and adjust the effort management regime.
The study comprised of 4 main tasks:
Two additional tasks, related to the assessment of the pilot scheme could, because the pilot scheme was not implemented, not be realised.
The identified criteria for the bio and socio-economical evaluation of the management scheme are the spatial distribution of the fishing fleets, the Catch per unit of effort (CPUE), catch composition and discards, fishing mortality, gross value added, profit of the different fleet segments, employment and capacity utilisation.
These criteria were used to describe the different German, Swedish and Danish fleets in operation in the Kattegat. An overview of seasonal and spatial patterns in landings is provided. Swedish discard data were used to determine magnitude and composition of discards in the Kattegat. The total effort deployed in the Kattegat decreased over the 2000-2007 period with some 40%, mainly due to capacity reduction of the Danish Trawl fleet.
The socio-economic analysis was limited to Sweden. The study concludes that there is a general trend in Swedish ports of decreasing number of vessels, capacity and deployment, yet still there is overcapacity in the fleet. As for using socio-economic indicators the study advises that economic data usually lag behind one year. There fore these can not be used for a real time monitoring of the impact of an effort management scheme. Market prices and fuel costs are indicators that could be used as real time proxy for the economic performance of a fleet.
In order to set up a monitoring programme to evaluate an effort pilot programme the study proposes a novel approach using spatial distribution maps. The spatial distribution maps are based on data from surveys with a large spatial coverage are combined with VMS data of fishing operations. Of course the basis of an effort management system is knowing the relation between effective fishing effort and fishing mortality of a species.
Although the study could not provide the evaluation tools for an effort management programme, as the programme was not implemented, it provides the basic ground work for the establishment of monitoring an effort management regime.
Full title: Evaluation of the pilot effort regime in the Kattegat
Organisations: Fiskeriverket, DTU Aqua