Suggested Bibliographic Reference: Challenging New Frontiers in the Global Seafood Sector: Proceedings of the Eighteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, July 11-15, 2016. Compiled by Stefani J. Evers and Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2016.
Proceedings of the Eighteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, held July 11-15, 2016 at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Center (AECC), Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.
Regulating fishing trough overall catch limits, sometimes referred to as olympic fishing, has been heavily criticized by fisheries economists for its unhealthy incentives for overcapacity, excessive costs, quantity focus and uneven supply patterns. In spite of this the Icelandic government opened an olympic style coastal fishery for small scale vessels in 2008. This was in response to years of lobbying by certain groups of fishermen and their heavy criticism of the quota regulation of Iceland. The fishery is ongoing and is now about 9000 tons, of mostly cod. It is limited to the summer months of May, June, July and August where a separate overall catch limit is put on each month for four districts. There is further a limit on both vessel size and daily catch. This paper analyses the economic outcome of this experiment. It analyses the profitability of the fishery compared to the quota regulated coastal fishery as well as the industrial fishery. The analysis uses the detailed economic data on profitability of fleet sections generated yearly by statistics Iceland. The paper focuses also on the empirical data on impact of the Icelandic olympic coastal fishing on short run fish supply, quality and fish prices. The results firmly confirm the general consensus among economists that olympic fishing is wasteful and leads to very poor economic outcomes. The way the fishery is organized leads to oversupply in the first days of each summer month, with suppressed prices, and inferior catch quality.