Management of North-East Artic Cod: An Age-structured Multi-Fleet Analysis

Type/nr R04/19
Skrevet av Rasmus Noss Bang

The North-East Arctic cod fishery is of economic and cultural importance. The stock is subject to joint management by Norway and Russia. Today’s stock management strategy is designed to achieve the maximum sustainable yield given the current selection pattern. The current selection pattern is largely determined by the fleet-composition, i.e. the distribution of the total allowable catch in terms of shares.

The total allowable catch is distributed between vessels that fall into three broad groups; Norwegian conventional vessels, Norwegian trawlers, and Russian and third countries’ trawlers. The Russian and third countries’ trawlers typically get 55-57.5% of the total allowable catch, while the Norwegian part of the fishery gets the remaining share. A distribution key called “Trålstigen”, which translates to “The trawl ladder”, determines the distribution of the Norwegian share of the total allowable catch as a function of its size.

By use of an age-structured, multi-fleet, bioeconomic model, it is shown that the stock has biological potential that cannot be realized with today’s management. The same goes for the economic potential of the Norwegian part of the fishery. Biological gains in terms of an increase in the sustainable yield may be achieved by altering the overall selection pattern through changes in the fleet-composition. Economic gains in terms of an increase in the net present value of the Norwegian part of the fishery may be achieved by changing the overall selection pattern and reducing the overall fishing pressure.

The model results indicate that the Norwegian conventional fleet has the most efficient selection pattern which gives it a bioeconomic advantage. However, the Norwegian trawler fleet compensates for a more inefficient selection pattern with a cost-advantage. Economically speaking, the overall results indicate that it is not significant which of these fleets are utilized – it is the Russian and third countries’ trawler fleet that has the most inefficient selection pattern, and the use of this fleet has a negative bioeconomic impact on the Norwegian part of the fishery. From an economic sole owner perspective, the use of the Russian and third countries’ trawler fleet with its overall selection pattern, may only be defended if its harvest costs per kg are significantly lower than that of the other fleets.

Språk Skrevet på engelsk