journal article

Adding to the mix – challenges of mixed fisheries management in the North Sea under climate change and technical interactions


Technical interactions (multiple fleets fishing multiple species with various gears, as either target or bycatch), bycatch regulations through a landing obligation, and biological and economic effects of climate change, affecting fisheries yield and profits, provide a challenge for demersal mixed fisheries of the North Sea. A multi-stock, multi-fleet, bioeconomic model was used to understand management options under these combined influences. Scenarios considered climate change effects on recruitment of three main gadoid stocks (cod – Gadus morhua, saithe – Pollachius virens, whiting – Merlangius merlangus), possible future developments of fuel and fish prices, and strict implementation of a landing obligation. The latter leads to decreased yield and profits in the short term due to increased choke effects, mainly of North Sea cod, being influenced by climate-induced productivity changes. Allowing fishing above FMSY, but within sustainable limits, or limiting year-to-year quota changes, could help buffer initial losses at the expense of decreased profits in the mid- to long-term. Economic performance of individual fleets was linked to their main target's stock status, cost structure, and fuel and fish prices. The results highlight a need to consider both biological and economic consequences of climate change in the management of mixed fisheries.
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