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The effect of restrictive policy instruments on Belgian fishing fleet dynamics

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  • H. STOUTEN
  • A. HEENE

    ()

  • X. GELLYNCK
  • H. POLET

Abstract

Even with the rapid changes in the level of complexity and the uncertainty of the environment in which Belgian sea fisheries operate, fisheries management in Belgium is still mainly based on restrictive policy instruments founded in the biological approach of fisheries management science. Since they will continue to play an important role, this paper evaluated changes in three restrictive policy instruments and their effect on future fleet performance and dynamics, i.e. maximum fishing days, total quota-restrictions and licences. These effects are tested through scenarios in a microeconomic simulation model, including sensitivity analysis. This study opts for a dynamic simulation model based on a microeconomic approach of fleet dynamics using system dynamics as a modelling technique (operational base: Vensim®DSS). The results indicated that changes in maximum fishing days and total quota resulted in higher fluctuations in fleet performance and dynamics compared to changes in licences. Furthermore, changes in maximum fishing days and total quota had a direct impact on fleet performance, though not always as expected, whereas licences only affected fleet performance indirectly since they only limit the entry of new vessels to the fleet and they can block the growth of successful sub fleets. The outcomes of this study are translated into practical recommendations for improving fisheries management. Firstly, policy makers need to be more aware of misperceptions of feedback. Secondly, the results proved that altering only one type of restrictive policy instrument at a time often fails to meet desired outcomes. Therefore, policy makers need to find a balance in combining policy instruments. Finally, this paper opens the discussion on the future value of restrictive policy instruments in the rapidly changing, complex and uncertain fisheries environment. It suggests rethinking their use from “preserving a status quo and social peace” toward a driving factor in “stimulating fleet dynamics.”

Suggested Citation

  • H. Stouten & A. Heene & X. Gellynck & H. Polet, 2008. "The effect of restrictive policy instruments on Belgian fishing fleet dynamics," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 08/540, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  • Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:08/540
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    File URL: http://wps-feb.ugent.be/Papers/wp_08_540.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Moxnes, Erling, 1998. "Overexploitation of renewable resources: The role of misperceptions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 107-127, September.
    2. Moxnes, Erling, 2003. "Uncertain measurements of renewable resources: approximations, harvesting policies and value of accuracy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 85-108, January.
    3. Erling Moxnes, 1998. "Not Only the Tragedy of the Commons: Misperceptions of Bioeconomics," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(9), pages 1234-1248, September.
    4. Ruseski, Gorazd, 1998. "International Fish Wars: The Strategic Roles for Fleet Licensing and Effort Subsidies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 70-88, July.
    5. John D. Sterman, 1989. "Modeling Managerial Behavior: Misperceptions of Feedback in a Dynamic Decision Making Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(3), pages 321-339, March.
    6. Healey, MC & Hennessey, T, 1998. "The paradox of fairness: The impact of escalating complexity on fishery management," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 109-118, March.
    7. Boude, Jean-Pierre & Boncoeur, Jean & Bailly, Denis, 2001. "Regulating the access to fisheries: learning from European experiences," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 313-322, July.
    8. Diehl, Ernst & Sterman, John D., 1995. "Effects of Feedback Complexity on Dynamic Decision Making," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 198-215, May.
    9. Anthony Scott, 1955. "The Fishery: The Objectives of Sole Ownership," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 116-116.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fisheries management; restrictive policy instruments; sensitivity simulation; system dynamics; fleet performance; fleet dynamics.;

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