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Mixed-fisheries management plans in Europe: Can we formulate a simple bioeconomic advice on a complex reality? Public Deposited

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  • The recognition of the complex biological and economic interactions occurring in mixed-demersal fisheries have long underpinned the development of fleets- and fisheries-based models and data collection in European fisheries. More recently, mixed-fisheries management plans are being designed and implemented in the frame of the EU Common Fishery Policy. The central element of these plans is the option to depart from the single-stock MSY-based scientific advice for setting Total Allowable Catches, provided that there is scientific evidence of “choke species” effects that can lead to an early closure of an entire fishery. Single-stocks’ Fmsy upper and lower ranges have been defined, that would maintain high yields and low risks while providing some flexibility to cope with inter-annual fluctuations of the various stocks. These complex developments raise multiple questions, but providing simple answers and robust scientific advice to these is not straightforward. In 2018, important milestones are being reached, which see the culmination and the mutualisation of parallel scientific initiatives, developed in different national and pan-european bodies such as ICES and STECF. An operational process is developed, bringing together ecological and bioeconomic models in a flexible framework. Outcomes are summarised in a combined scientific advice accounting for the risks of choke effects, analysing alternative catch options and suggesting TACs that would be meaningful trade-offs between economic and ecological constraints. This presentation will highlight the main features and outcomes of this complex process, reflecting also on the challenges and opportunities of accounting for mixed-fisheries aspects instead of single-stock approach.
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  • Seattle, Washington, USA
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