Benefits of Responsible Fishing: The Impact of an Innovative Trial of Voluntary Restraint Public Deposited

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  • Early in 2002, members of two Producer Organisations (POs), the North Sea Fishermen’s Organisation in Britain, and the Dutch Cooperative Producentenorganisatie Oost Nederland, realised that their quotas of plaice and sole were insufficient to last until the end of the quota period. Vessels have in the order of 70-80% of their needs for sole but only 50-60% plaice. In response they voluntarily tied up their vessels periodically early in the year. This was repeated in 2004 and 2005. The objective of this study, which was part-funded by the European Commission Directorate- General for Fisheries and undertaken by the two POs and a firm of economists, was to identify whether the expected improved price stability for plaice and sole on the Urk auction market where most of the fish is sold, was achieved, and to estimate the amount of the improvement in revenues and cost-savings for the fleet. Inverse demand functions were calculated for lemon sole, dover sole, and plaice and the results suggest that revenue is maximised by spreading supplies evenly across any given time period. This was confirmed by simulations of the estimated model which were run to predict what would have been the revenue in the period that the tie up scheme was in force against an alternative scenario of the scheme not being in force. The aggregate gains in earnings are calculated to have been up to 18%. From a sample of vessels' costs and earnings accounts statistical evidence emerged that the profitability was higher in the years when the tie-up scheme was in place, though no significant change in revenue and crew share was found. While individually the evidence of the econometrics and statistical tests is not conclusive (and that of the statistical tests need not be attributable to the tie-up scheme), combined, the two pieces of evidence do suggest that the tie-up scheme did result in the intended higher revenues and profits, and a more stable market.
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  • Rodgers, Philip and Andy Read. 2006. Benefits of Responsible Fishing: The Impact of an Innovative Trial of Voluntary Restraint. In: Proceedings of the Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, July 11-14, 2006, Portsmouth, UK: Rebuilding Fisheries in an Uncertain Environment. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2006. CD ROM. ISBN 0-9763432-3-1
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