Challenging spatial and seasonal distribution of fish landings--Experiences from vertically integrated trawlers and delivery obligations in Norway
The highly seasonal Norwegian cod fisheries give rise to problems downstream in the value chain and the authorities have introduced several schemes to counter the strong incentives for seasonal harvesting. This paper studies how the trawler delivery obligation (TDO) regime influences aspects of the harvesting pattern, focusing on the temporal and geographic distribution of landings. The analysis shows that the trawlers as a group have far less seasonal variations in their cod landings compared to the coastal fleet. While the Norwegian fleet lands about 75% during the first half-year, the corresponding share for trawlers is about 50%. Contrary to the initial hypothesis, the independent trawlers fished the most off-season; about 57% of their total landings. Trawlers controlled by vertically integrated firms landed considerably less (about 45%) and independently owned trawlers with landing obligations fell between these two strategic groups (about 50%). Vertically integrated vessels have a higher fulfilment of their landing obligations than the independently owned. The differences between the strategic groups are relatively high, at 68% vs. 38%. These results indicate that delivery obligations alone are not sufficient to provide control over the geographic distribution.
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