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Sustainability in fisheries – adding market value or financial profit? Public Deposited

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  • How well at fishery management regime perform is closely related both to vessel performance (i.e. return on investments) and if the species at stake are harvested in sustainable manner. However, ROI do not capture important dimensions of vessel performance. In addition, sustainability also includes social, economic and institutional dimensions. In this paper, we address weaknesses related to the most frequently applied performance measures in fisheries, and propose to add market value and social sustainability when evaluating the performance of fishery management regimes. The short-term costs of meeting such sustainability dimensions might result in weak financial performance. In fisheries, harvesting strategies must often balance costs of harvesting and important market attributes like timing and quality. Some harvest strategies might perform high on financial performance measures – due to high catch per unit effort and low fuel cost. At the same time, they might score low on sustainability measures – due to overfishing or quality based waste, i.e. low market value per kg catch. In this paper, we include the quality of the fish landed at vessel level and macro level as important performance dimensions. We do so in one of the most profitable fisheries in Norway – purse seiners that harvest mackerel. In our study, we address how firm heterogeneity (i.e. technology, capacity and harvest strategies) impact on vessel performance, i.e. market prices achieved. Our findings indicate potential for better performance, i.e. adding more market value to mackerel, among the purse seiners. However, to achieve this, the harvest cost might increase.
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  • Seattle, Washington, USA
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