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Output Substitution in Multi-Species Trawl Fisheries: Implications for Quota Setting

  • Phoebe Koundouri

    (Department of Economics, University of Reading and Department of Economics and CSERGE, University College London)

  • Trond Bjorndal

    (CEMARE, Department of Economics, University of Portsmouth)

  • Sean Pascoe

    (CEMARE, Department of Economics, University of Portsmouth)

In most multi-species fisheries managed through output controls, total allowable catches (TACs) are set primarily on the basis of biological considerations, usually on a species by species basis. An implicit assumption of management is that fishers are able to adjust their product mix in line with these quotas. If this is not the case, then over-quota catch occurs, leading to either illegal landings or discards. In either case, the effectiveness of the TAC in conserving the resource is reduced. In this paper we show that in the case of multi-species fisheries that exhibit jointness in production, setting TACs on an individual species’ basis is inappropriate. In particular, we quantify technical interactions through the estimation of a multi-output distance function for the UK North Sea beam and otter trawl fisheries, and find that in most cases, the potential of substitutability between the main and alternative species is relatively small. We argue that failure to quantify and integrate these technical interactions in the construction of management instruments for fisheries regulation, may result in increased discarding, illegal fishing and potentially lower than expected future yields.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2004.30.

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Date of creation: Feb 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2004.30
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  1. Trond Bjørndal, 1989. "Production in a Schooling Fishery: The Case of the North Sea Herring Fishery," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 65(1), pages 49-56.
  2. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Diewert, W Erwin, 1982. "Multilateral Comparisons of Output, Input, and Productivity Using Superlative Index Numbers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(365), pages 73-86, March.
  3. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
  4. Campbell, H. F. & Hand, A. J., 1998. "Joint ventures and technology transfer: the Solomon Islands pole-and-line fishery," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 421-442.
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