IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Actual versus Optimal Fisheries Policies: An Evaluation of the Cod Fishing Policies of Denmark, Iceland and Norway


  • Ragnar Arnason

    () (Department of Economics, University of Iceland)

  • Leif K. Sandal

    () (Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (NHH))

  • Stein Ivar Steinshamn

    () (Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (NHH))

  • Niels Vestergaard

    () (Department of Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark)


Many ocean fisheries are subject to a fundamental economic problem generally referred to as the common property problem. The common property problem manifests itself as excessive fishing fleets and fishing effort, depressed fish stocks and little or no profitability of the fishing activity, irrespective of the richness of the underlying marine resources. European fisheries represent some of the most dramatic examples of the common property problem. This paper employs simple empirical models and recently developed mathe-matical techniques to find optimal feed-back policies to examine the economic efficiency of three European fisheries, namely the Danish, Icelandic and Nor-wegian cod fisheries. The optimal harvesting policies for each of these fisheries are calculated. Comparing these optimal policies with actual harvests provides a measure of the relative efficiency in these three cod fisheries. The comparison confirms that the cod harvesting policies of these three coun-tries have been hugely inefficient in the past. Moreover, it appears that the inef-ficiency has been increasing over time. Only, during the last few years of our data are there indications that this downward trend may have been halted. This comparative improvement, slight as it is, may reflect the impact of a more re-strictive fisheries policy since the early 1990s.

Suggested Citation

  • Ragnar Arnason & Leif K. Sandal & Stein Ivar Steinshamn & Niels Vestergaard, 2005. "Actual versus Optimal Fisheries Policies: An Evaluation of the Cod Fishing Policies of Denmark, Iceland and Norway," Working Papers 61/05, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Sociology, Environmental and Business Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sdk:wpaper:61

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2005-01
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sdk:wpaper:61. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ulla H. Oehlenschläger). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.