Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Estimating misreporting in EU fisheries

The estimation of technical efficiency is based on the observed, or recorded, landings. In many of the fleets examined, incentives exist, either as a result of management or through constraints on the available hold space, to discard part of the catch. In some cases, incentives may exist to land part of the catch illegally, particularly if the probability of detection is low. A common feature of both discarded or illegally landed catch is that it is not recorded. As a result, the observed catch does not necessarily equate to the actual catch. Provided sufficient observations exist in which all catch taken is landed and recorded, the production frontier underlying both the DEA and SPF approaches should represent the true relationship between inputs and outputs. However, deviations from this frontier will be attributed to inefficiency when, in fact, they may be due in full or in part to non-recorded catch.

Non-recorded catch is effectively a third error term in the production process, the first being random error and the second inefficiency. A difficulty in separating out this third term is that its magnitude is not independent of both the level of inputs or the other two error terms. A highly efficient vessels using a high level of inputs in a 'lucky' year is more likely to exceed his or her quota or hold capacity, and therefore either discard some of the catch or land it illegally, than a less efficient vessel using fewer inputs.

In this study, a number of different approaches were examined in order to try and estimate the possible extent of non-recorded catch using DEA. The results indicated that 'problem' species could be identified, and also that the magnitude of the problem could be estimated. However, the level of precision was not particularly high. One approach, however, appeared to be reasonably reliable in identifying the worst offenders.

The analyses undertaken on non-reported catch demonstrated potential that could be further developed. Such further analyses, if successful, could potentially reduce surveillance costs in fisheries by ensuring that resources were targeted in the right areas.

Reported by

University of Portsmouth
Locksway Road
PO4 8JF Southsea
United Kingdom
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