Influence of trends in fishing power on bioeconomics in the North Sea flatfish fishery regulated by catches or by effort quotas

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Total allowable effort quotas (TAEs) are often considered as promising alternatives to single-species total allowable catch quotas (TACs) in fisheries management. However, implementing TAEs would primarily require converting nominal effort into fishing mortality rate, i.e., developing a relevant model of the dynamics of catchability. Assuming that trends in the catchability may occur through fishing-power creeping linked to increased capital invested and technology, we compare, by stochastic and dynamic simulation modelling, the relative biological and economic benefits and drawbacks of TAEs and TACs in the North Sea sole (Solea solea L.) and plaice (Pleuronectes platessa L.) fishery. Management targets are based on the Precautionary Approach and Harvest Control Rules developed by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). Fishermen are assumed to set their effort at the most (TAE) or least (TAC) conservative level. Overall, the outcomes are more sensitive to the catchability model when implementing TAEs, especially in the medium and long term, but the variability in catchability has a much greater impact on stock levels than on the fisheries profit.

Les quotas d'effort par unité de pêche (TAEs) sont souvent considérés comme une alternative prometteuse aux quotas de captures par espèce (TACs) traditionnellement employés en gestion des pêches. Mais la mise en place de TAEs requiert au préalable de pouvoir convertir l'effort nominal en taux de mortalité par pêche, c'est-à-dire de développer un modèle mathématique adéquat de la dynamique de la capturabilité. On suppose ici que la capturabilité croît du fait de la dérive des puissances de pêche, issue d'un accroissement régulier de l'investissement et de la technologie. On compare alors, par un modèle de simulation stochastique et dynamique, les avantages et inconvénients relatifs des TACs et TAEs, d'un point de vue à la fois biologique et économique. Le modèle est appliqué à la pêcherie de sole (Solea solea L.) et de plie (Pleuronectes platessa L.) en Mer du Nord. Les objectifs de gestion sont calqués sur l'Approche de précaution et les Règles de captures du Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer (CIEM). Les pêcheurs sont supposés fixer leur activité au niveau le plus (TAE) ou le moins (TAC) conservatif. Globalement, les résultats sont plus sensibles au modèle de capturabilité dans le cas des quotas d'effort, surtout à moyen et long terme. Mais la variabilité de la capturabilité a plus d'impact sur le niveau des stocks que sur la rentabilité de la pêcherie.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2002

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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