Multi-annual Management of Fish Stocks The Fishery Management System of the Faroe Islands 1996-2004 Individual, transferable effort quotas and closed areas Bergen 14 September 2004
Main themes of the presentation • The development of the demersal fisheries around the Faroe Islands • Management • Other factor affecting the system, subsidies. • Developments in the 1990’ies • The results
The banks that contain the main demersal stocks are an independent ecological province inside Faroese jurisdiction. The slopes and the deep-sea are parts of larger ecological provinces, shared with other jurisdictions The ecosystems and the oceanic regime are considered stable and robust The main demersal stocks have been resilient to fishing pressure over the last 100 years. They show a robust growth and recruitment pattern. The Faroese Fishing Zone, FFZ
The Demersal fisheries in the FFZ. The Fishing Fleets • Smaller vessels operating trawl, long line and hand line • Large long liners • Pair trawlers • Single trawlers. • Stable fishing patterns have developed since 1977
The Demersal fisheries in the FFZ. The stocks exploited • Main stocks cod, saithe, haddock, redfish • Important by-catches whiting, ling, tusk and blue ling, Greenland halibut • Atlantic halibut and various flatfishes and monkfish specialised fisheries • 10 stocks where total catches are more 3 % of total demersal catches.
History 1901 -1987 • 1901 Faroese waters opened to foreign, especially British fishery • 1964 12 mile fisheries limit • 1977 200 mile fisheries limit. Faroese jurisdiction. • 1977-1986 Closed areas and gear regulations. • 1986-87 Licensing. List closed
Other management decisions affecting the fisheries. Financial subsidies • 1953 Soft loan system for building of vessels • 1954 State guarantee of minimum wages • 1975 Landing price guarantees • 1985 Running costs guarantee • 1993 Price guarantees abolished • 1993 Major economic crisis brings down capacity and capital costs • 1993-1998 Other subsidies fazed out except minimum wage guarantee
The purpose of regulating the exploitation of fishery resources • To establish long term frameworks which keep the impact of fisheries inside certain levels • Reduce the risk of avoidable and irreversible changes to the ecosystems • Create a basis for profitable fisheries
Necessary information and tools regulating the exploitation of fishery resources • Scientific advice on the productivity of the ecosystems and socio-economic parameters • Establish limits for fishing capacity and effort • Control and enforcement
History 1993 - 1996 • 1994 New “constitution” for commercial fisheries, Commercial Fisheries Act • 1994 ITQs and closed areas • 1996 ITEQs and closed areas. Individual transferable quotas of fishing days
Commercial Fisheries Act March 1994 • It contains all elements of fisheries management and includes recent developments in international law and conventions, for example sustainability, both economic and biological (ecological), ecosystem and biodiversity considerations
1994 New “constitution” for commercial fisheries • § 2. The living resources in the FFZ and the allocations the Government of the Faroe Islands has acquired outside the FFZ are the property of the Faroese People. In the administration of this act the aim should be to conserve the resources and exploit them in a sustainable and rational way, both in biological and economic terms, and with due concern for the relationship between stocks of plants and animal in the Sea and their abundance, in order to secure the most optimal flow of benefits for the society, constant employment and income and possibilities for commercial activities all over the country.
1994 –1996 ITQs • The Faroese Parliament in 1994 agreed to introduce a system of ITQs for the demersal fisheries in the FFZ • The industry was against it and the system soon ran into severe problems • The problems were the following:
1994 –1996 ITQs Problems • Problems in the assessments and proposed TACs • Limited or none stakeholder involvement • Insufficient control and enforcement • Non-reporting of landings • Illegal discards
ITQs changed to ITEQs • The industry and the fisheries administration got together and discussed how to amend the management system • The Government set up a committee with representatives of the industry, science and administration to draw up a new system with control of effort in stead of catches. • The system was formally underwritten by all fisheries organisations • Changes in the Commercial Fisheries Act presented to the Parliament and passed in 1995/96 • New system introduced 1996/1997
The tools of the system • The fishing effort controlled in several ways • Number of licenses frozen at 1. jan. 1995 level • Over all effort regulated by allotting fishing days to individual boats in 6 fleet categories. • Extensive area closures. • Mesh regulations
Gear regulation • Inside the dividing line the legal mesh size in trawls is 145 mm. • 135 mm is allowed outside the dividing line. • Gill nets are only allowed in certain deep water areas • Small meshed trawl was banned
Quotas in tonnes fish or in fishing days? • Both regulate fishing mortality • In effort control fishing mortality is regulated directly. In catch control it is done indirectly –”translating” catches to fishing mortality • Standard stock assessment was used at the outset to find the correct number of fishing days corresponding to an agreed sustainable level of fishing mortality • After that the only thing is to monitor is efficiency creep. TACs do not have to be calculated. Nothing is changed unless it is demonstrated that efficiency has increased
Basic parameters • Fishing Mortality=Proportion of Average Population Caught. F • Partial Fishing Mortality= Fishing Mortality generated by a particular fleet • Catchability= Fishing Mortality generated by a unit of fishing effort (one days fishing in the Faeroes system)
Initial determination of fishing day • The task was to find a number of fishing days that on average correspond to the chosen level of fishing mortality rate (33 % of stock = F 0.45) • Calculations of species catchability by fleet for each stock, cod, haddock and saithe • Combination of these results to estimate fishing mortality rates - and the first time catch predictions - for various allocations of days fishing to fleets
What can cause changes in targeting and catchability? • Price differentials • Changes in fishing pattern • Different catch rates? • Rules and Regulations? • Closed areas and technical regulations influence targeting and catchability
The problem of annual TACs • The standard stock assessment methods are strong in describing past events, but weak in short term predictions • Advice on which TAC corresponds to a certain level of fishing mortality is often given with more precision than the data allow • Annual TACs are attractive from a allocation point of view. Retrospective analysis shows that in many cases the probability that they fix fishing mortality at chosen levels is low.
No need for annual TACs • The number of fishing days keeps fishing mortality inside sustainable levels • It is not necessary to calculate TACs each year in order to keep fishing mortality at a certain level • The fishing fleets have flexibility to deploy their effort with respect to the three main stocks • The system is stable unless changes in efficiency and catchability can be demonstrated.
Transferability and Economy • The quotas are tranferable inside categories and harvesting licenses can also be transferred • This makes it easier to reduce fishing capacity to levels with higher profitability. • The fleet harvesting demersal stocks has had good profitability without any subsidies • Renovation of the older part of the fleet is now going on under normal market conditions • The number of licences decreases, because new vessels are more efficient
Control and enforcement • Enforcement is relatively simple, no incentive to underreport or discard • Modern VMS technology is efficient monitoring fishing days and closed areas. VMS is now mandatory. • The control and enforcement agency is adequately equipped to handle the system.
The fishing day system • The system does not aim at ensuring a certain level of fishing mortality for each stock every year • It aims at securing that fishing mortality stays inside certain bands on average over some years • Specific harvest control rules are still discussed, but it is understood that larger deviations from expected levels will trigger other measures. • The rule as it is applied now is that if efficiency creep is demonstrated it is ”confiscated”
Efficiency creep • Technological leaps • Improved gear technology • Increased efficiency during one fishing day • Suspicion of efficency increases have led to cut backs in the number of fishing days by 20 % since 1996
Monitoring the system • The system is evaluated on an annual basis • This process involves scientists, the industry the Government and the Parliament