Capacity, F and Effort (CAFE) (38100)

Project Details


The CAFE project was designed to investigate the links between the fleet capacity, the fishing effort of those fleets and the fishing mortality that results from that effort, so as to facilitate the development of a fishing management strategy.

The fishing effort was considered as the amount of time a given fishing capacity was deployed in a fishery. Therefore, engine power could be seen as a capacity measure and kilowatt hours as the expression of the effort from that capacity. This estimate allowed for capacity and effort to be directly linked within the project.

CAFE proved that relating higher capacity and/or effort to higher fish mortality was a common misinterpretation. Thus, the project aimed to test the hypothesis that there was a quantifiable relationship between the capacity and effort by particular fleets and the fishing mortality imposed on the various commercial stocks.

The project covered six different case studies (the North Sea, the Bay of Biscay and the Mediterranean) accounting, both pelagic and demersal fisheries and single and multi-species fisheries.

A combination of models and metrics was subsequently employed to quantify the links between capacity, effort and fishing mortality. External factors which affected the fishers' choices were also identified. The modelling approach used both statistical and mathematical modelling techniques.

The models and the understanding gained through them were subsequently used to examine the response of the system to a range of management measures for controlling capacity and effort. A series of simulations were performed to examine the fisheries' response to limitations of capacity, effort or other measures. Several of the models were run using data of different case studies to test the general applicability of the approaches and observe existing differences between individual countries.

The project was coordinated by IMARES, Wageningen UR, The Netherlands.

Research area: Fisheries Management
Effective start/end date01/01/200631/12/2009