Competition for marine space: modelling the Baltic Sea fisheries and effort displacement under spatial restrictions

Francois Bastardie, J. Rasmus Nielsen, Ole Ritzau Eigaard, H.O. Fock, P. Jonsson, V. Bartolino

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Maritime spatial planning (MSP) and fishery management may generate extra costs for fisheries by constraining fishers activity with conservation
areas and new utilizations of the sea. Moreenergy-efficient fisheries are also likely to alter existing fishing patterns, which already vary from fishery to
fishery and from vessel to vessel. The impact assessment of new spatial plans involving fisheries should be based on quantitative bioeconomic analyses
that take into account individual vessel decisions, and trade-offs in cross-sector conflicting interests.Weuse a vessel-oriented decision-support
tool (the DISPLACE model) to combine stochastic variations in spatial fishing activities with harvested resource dynamics in scenario projections.
The assessment computes economic and stock status indicators by modelling the activity of Danish, Swedish, and German vessels (.12 m) in the
international western Baltic Sea commercial fishery, together with the underlying size-based distribution dynamics of the main fishery resources of
sprat, herring, and cod. The outcomes of alternative scenarios for spatial effort displacement are exemplified by evaluating the fishers’s abilities to
adapt to spatial plans under various constraints. Interlinked spatial, technical, and biological dynamics of vessels and stocks in the scenarios result in
stable profits, which compensate for the additional costs from effort displacement and release pressure on the fish stocks. The effort is further
redirected away from sensitive benthic habitats, enhancing the ecological positive effects. The energy efficiency of some of the vessels, however,
is strongly reduced with the new zonation, and some of the vessels suffer decreased profits. The DISPLACE model serves as a spatially explicit bioeconomic
benchmark tool for management strategy evaluations for capturing tactical decision-making in reaction to MSP
Original languageEnglish
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)824-840
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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