Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Relationships between landings and effort

A prerequisite in ecosystem management of fisheries is the ability to predict the ecological consequences of management actions. To date fisheries management has involved catch limitations, however the prediction of ecological consequences of fishing are generally modelled on variation in fishing effort. This therefore requires knowledge of the relationship between landings and effort and therefore the relationships between landings, TAC/quotas, and effort were investigated by gear, year and species, in five individual case studies based on partner countries.

In each case study, landings and quotas were closely related for the main target species. Relationships between landings by particular gears and the effort by that gear produced confusing results. In each case study there was a strong spatial relationship between landings and effort based on ICES rectangles. However, the strength of temporal correlations was variable across the North Sea. The relationship on a North Sea wide basis between TAC and landings was very close for all fish except saithe, where landings were substantially below the TACs. However, there was no indication that variation in TAC influenced variation in fishing effort in any clear and consistent manner. As a consequence, adequately predicting likely patterns of fishing effort, and thereby likely ecological consequences, from particular combinations of TACs was not possible. This makes continued management through catch limitation difficult to reconcile with a proactive ecosystem approach to management.

This fact will be raised with appropriate ICES working groups as well as better ways of recording and accessing fishing effort data. All these data will be incorporated into appropriate scientific publications, making the material available to the wider public.

Reported by

School of the Environment and Society
Singleton park
United Kingdom
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