Stock-based vs. fleet-based evaluation of the multi-annual management plan for the cod stocks in the Baltic Sea

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This study evaluated the EU 2008 multi-annual plan for Baltic cod stock recovery. The plan combines harvest control rules that set TACs with reductions in direct effort (E) and fishing mortality (F). Performance and robustness of the plan are tested with a management strategy evaluation model (MSE). Stochastic simulations are carried out under different scenarios of recruitment and sources of uncertainties. Under the different magnitudes of errors investigated, the plan in its current design is likely to reach precautionary targets for the Eastern and the Western Baltic cod stocks by 2015. It is, however, more sensitive to implementation errors (e.g. catch misreporting) than to observation errors (e.g. data collection) when the (i) current settings of the ICES single-stock assessment model are maintained. (ii) intended fishing effort reduction is fully complied with, and (iii) biological parameters are assumed constant. For the Eastern Baltic stock, additional sources of uncertainties from fishery adaptation to the plan are tested using a fleet-based and spatially explicit version of the model which leads to higher reductions in F and no significant change in management robustness. The relative difference between both approaches is mainly due to differences in exploitation patterns in catching the same amount of fish. The effort control is demonstrated to be more efficient when supplemented with a TAC and avoids un-intended effects from fishery responses, e.g. spatial effort reallocation. Medium term economic evaluation of fishery performance shows an initial reduction in profit with effort and TAC reductions, but profit is always positive. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFisheries Research
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)188-202
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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