Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 7704
Title: How a catch-quota balancing system can go wrong: an evaluation of the species quota transformation provisions in the Icelandic multi-species demersal fishery
Author: Pamela Woods, Daniel S. Holland, A. E. Punt, Guorun Marteinsdottir
Publication Year: 2015
Journal: ICES Journal of Marine Science
Volume: 72
Issue: 5
Pages: 1257-77
DOI: doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsv001.
Keywords: multispecies interactions,Individual Fishing Quota,catch balancing
Abstract:

Implementation of single-species catch limits in multi-species fisheries is problematic because it may incentivize discarding behavior when quotas for some species limit catch of jointly caught species. Since discarding may lead to economic inefficiency and bias stock assessments, mechanisms that reduce incentives to discard can be beneficial to a multi-species management system. However, if these mechanisms also increase flexibility in how quotas can be used by fishers, they may be detrimental in the long term. Increased risk of stock depletion occurs if they enable catch to persistently exceed the total allowable catch (TAC). This study uses a bioeconomic model to analyze potential negative consequences of the species quota transformation provisions in the Icelandic individual transferable quota (ITQ) system. These provisions allow quota of one species to be transformed into quota of another species at specified rates related to relative value. We explore how these provisions may affect long-term sustainability of individual species and profitability of the fishery as a whole. The system reduces the degree that the TAC of any particular species constrains the catch of other species. However, it also allows catches of some species to exceed TACs, possibly leading to stock depletion. We focus on the extreme case of perfect targeting (i.e., full control of catch composition) to increase intuition on the potential for adverse effects of this system. Various combinations of species profitability are examined to determine attributes of species that lead to greater vulnerability, as well as interactions in species utilization. Consequences of changing harvest control rules are explored, and information needed to monitor for unintended consequences of such a system in practice are discussed. Although the species transformation system is designed to increase economic efficiency, it can lead to depletion in some cases, which can make it difficult or impossible to achieve maximum economic yield (MEY).

Description:

Model-based evaluation of risks and benefits of Iceland's quota conversion provisions in their multispeices IFQ system

Theme: Ecosystem approach to improve management of marine resources
Foci: Provide scientific support for the implementation of ecosystem-based management
Provide scientific support for the implementation of ecosystem-based management
Official Citation:

Woods, P.J., D.S. Holland, G. Marteinsdóttir, and A.E. Punt 2015. How a catch-quota balancing system can go wrong: an evaluation of the species quota transformation provisions in the Icelandic multi-species demersal fishery. ICES Journal of Marine Science. 72(5):1257-77. doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsv001.