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Fisheries management scenarios: trade‐offs between economic and biological objectives

Maravelias, C. D., Pantazi, M., Maynou, F.
Fisheries management and ecology 2014 v.21 no.3 pp. 186-195
Merluccius merluccius, Mullus barbatus, Mullus surmuletus, aquacultural and fisheries equipment, bioeconomic models, fisheries, fisheries management, issues and policy, mortality, simulation models
An age‐structured, population biology submodel and an economic submodel with vessel‐specific dynamics were applied to a demersal fishery in the North Aegean (NE Mediterranean) that consists of three main stocks: European hake Merluccius merluccius (L.), red mullet Mullus barbatus L. and striped red mullet Mullus surmuletus L. The Mefisto model is a bioeconomic simulation model through which the biological and economic submodels (disaggregated at the vessel level) are linked by means of a fishing mortality vector. Alternative management scenarios were built and tested based on input controls, and the performance of these strategies was examined against those of current policies. Three alternative management strategies were as follows: (1) reducing the coastal fisheries' fleet units; (2) limiting the effort level (days at sea) of the trawl fleets; and (3) changing the selectivity patterns of the trawl by increasing mesh size. The results show that for all three species, any of the three management measures (input controls) would be beneficial to both the stock and the fleets (over the medium and long terms) compared with the projections over time for the status quo. Improving the selectivity of the fishing gear proved to be more beneficial than limiting nominal effort, which was in turn more beneficial than decreasing coastal fleet size.