Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Key processes underlying fishers' response to changes in mangement, market shifts and fish stocks density

Deliverable D6b is the report on the external factors (changes in management, market shifts and fish stock density) that influence fishermen and their decision-making processes (based on the database (D6a). The report is based on the surveys of five case studies, all of which are demersal fisheries. The case studies were as follows: French Bottom-trawlers fishing in the Bay of Biscay, Basque trawlers fishing in ICES sub-area VIII, Galician trawlers and longliners targeting hake in the Celtic Sea, English beam trawlers fishing in the English Channel and Celtic Sea and North Sea, and the Danish Demersal fleets (trawlers, seines and gillnetters) fishing in the North Sea and surrounds. In summary, fishermen take up their profession based on family influence, inheritance and in order to earn a living. Changing a fishing vessel or not changing a vessel is mainly based on economic factors such as opportunity costs. Changes to deck equipment are regularly made to increase efficiency and there is a tendency in each fishery to reduce the number of crew, as this reduces costs.

The replacement of a vessel�s engine was linked to the engine breaking down or to reduce the risk of breakdown. The vast majority of vessels surveyed have installed state of the art onboard electronic equipment after it has become available. The rate of uptake varies from 4 years until all the vessels have the technology to 9 years with an average of about 6 years.

This equipment results in improved species location together with improved communications between vessels. Modifications made to gear primarily appear to be to increase efficiency and in some cases may be in response to changing fishing opportunities. External factors (changes in management regulations, market shifts and fish stock density) constrain fishing operations and in order remain competitive fishermen require changes in technology to achieve greater efficiency.

Output-based fisheries management strategies do not necessarily take into account these changes in efficiency leading to situations where effective fishing effort exceeds the resources that can be harvested. The key features of these results were closely linked to the research conducted in the same project on discrete choice modelling of fisher behaviour which essentially models key factors of behaviour identified in this deliverable.

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Pakefield Road
United Kingdom
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