Given the fragile nature of fish stocks in the North Sea, it is of increasing importance to produce accurate and informed estimates of the state of stocks for the purpose of setting TACs. In order to do this, realistic and reliable estimates of fishing mortality and the current state of stocks are needed. This paper will summarise a project currently underway in north-east Scotland which aims to improve stock estimates for fisheries management by making use of fishermen’s knowledge. Within the project, information will be collected from fishermen in two main areas; (a) assessments on the state of stocks, and (b) factors influencing the level of fishing effort. The information on fishermen’s perceptions on the state of stocks, and on how they make these assessments, will provide an opportunity to fine-tune current assessment procedures, thereby improving stock estimates for TAC purposes. Information on the factors that influence the level of fishing effort will provide policy-makers and fisheries managers with a better understanding of how fishermen make decisions that influence their fishing behaviour. This should then facilitate the process of designing more effective policy tools for controlling fishing effort. The overall aim of the project is to increase the reliability of stock assessments for management purposes, to take more formal account of the social and economic factors which influence fishing activities, with an ultimate aim of incorporating fishermen’s knowledge into management decision-making.
Clayton, P.L. Using Fishermen’s Expertise to Improve Fisheries Management. In: Microbehavior and Macroresults: Proceedings of the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, July 10-14, 2000, Corvallis, Oregon, USA. Compiled by Richard S. Johnston and Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2001.