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Title: Impacts of spatial management and economics on discards, landings and fishing location choice : the case of the Scottish demersal fisheries
Author: Little, Alyson Susan
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2015
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Quantifying spatio-temporal variation in fishers' landings and fishing location choice decisions is key to understanding the incentives fishers face. This is particularly important for fisheries management and fishers landings decision-making, especially when implementing spatially resolved management for biological, economic and social objectives. However, modelling human decision-making is complex, presenting empirical challenges. Modelling fishers' short-term decision-making requires landings and fishing location choice data (revealed preference data) on a fine spatio-temporal scale at the resolution of individual fishing vessels. Stated preference data from interviewing fishers can enrich these data and provide useful insights into reasons for their decisions. This thesis focuses on the temporal and spatial variation in Scottish demersal fishers' landings and fishing location choice decisions in the context of fisheries management. The first objective was to review real-time spatial management approaches to reduce bycatch and discards in Europe and the US. A framework was developed to put Scottish real-time closures in the context of real-time spatial management adopted elsewhere. The results suggest spatial management tools incentivize fishers to develop, use and share information and technology to avoid undesired catch. Such management approaches are just one tool, which used in conjunction with other management tools, which have the potential to enable fishers to cooperatively avoid unwanted catch to meet the impending landing obligation and inform fisheries management of compliance with a discard ban. The second objective was to quantify the variation in Scottish demersal fishers' landings, examining the determinants of cod landed during a fishing trip. Short-term elasticities of supply were estimated using vessel monitoring system and logbook data. The estimated elasticities suggest that fishers do not respond quickly to changes in price or non-price drivers. The results suggest an opportunity to develop market incentives using fish price as a tool to incentivize more selective fishing following the introduction of the landings obligation. Fishers will have to adapt business plans in light of prices and quota availability under a discard ban. The third objective was to explain the variation in fishing location choice of Scottish demersal fishers. Stated preference data supplemented vessel monitoring system and logbook data. Economic, regulatory and vessel characteristic factors parameterised a random utility model. The results indicated that expected revenue, fishing effort, fuel costs and distance from realtime closure influenced the fishing location choice of demersal fishers. Random utility models are useful for framework for modelling short-term fishing location choices but empirical challenges are faced when estimating a random utility model. Such a modelling approach requires development at a more fine spatial and temporal resolution. Alternatively, bio-economic simulation modelling is a more appropriate framework for evaluating the tradeoffs associated with the landings obligation to inform fisheries management. The findings of this thesis demonstrate the utility of collecting and analysing qualitative and quantitative economic and management data. Such data can help fisheries management better understand fishers' decision-making, fishers to manage their business and to inform fisheries management given the impending discard ban.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Natural Environment Research Council ; Scottish Whitefish Producers' Association ; Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Fisheries ; Big game fishing ; Fishery discards ; Fishery management ; Fishing