Comparative evaluation of a mixed-fisheries effort-management system based on the Faroe Islands example

Alan Baudron, Clara Ulrich, J. Rasmus Nielsen, Jesper Boje

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Total allowable catch (TAC) management has in many fisheries, especially mixed fisheries, failed to meet conservation objectives. For instance, for the Faroe Plateau mixed demersal fisheries, the TAC system failed to achieve the objective of an average annual fishing mortality of 0.45 for the three gadoid stocks cod (Gadus morhua), haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus), and saithe (Pollachius virens). Therefore, in 1996, an effort-regulation system with individual transferable effort quotas was introduced to manage the fisheries. Experience has shown that effort management without additional stock-specific measures may not be appropriate for such fisheries. A management strategy evaluation model was developed to compare an effort-management system based on the Faroese example with a TAC system as currently applied in EU fisheries. Results show that when stocks are considered in isolation, a total allowable effort system does not necessarily perform better than a TAC one. It depends on stock status and dynamics, the level of uncertainty, and the reactivity of the system to changes in scientific advice. When the stocks are considered together in mixed fisheries, effort management seems, however, to be appropriate, and interannual flexibility of the system appears to be the best compromise between short- and long-term objectives, as well as between biological sustainability and economic return.
Original languageEnglish
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1036-1050
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Faroe Islands
  • mixed fisheries
  • management strategy evaluation (MSE)
  • effort management


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