Causes and consequences of fleet diversity in fisheries: The case of the Norwegian Barents Sea cod fishery
Fisheries operate under fluctuating environmental conditions, targeting fish stocks that appear in varying densities in different areas, often with abrupt and unexpected local changes. Physical conditions, markets and management regulations constrain vessels in different and varying ways. These factors all contribute to forming the fleet diversity we find in most fisheries. Here, a simulation model of the Northeast Arctic cod fishery is used in order to investigate how this diversity is formed and maintained, assuming rational economic behaviour under varying combined constraints. The study also focuses on how the ability of vessels to find fish influences fleet diversity, profitability, stock development and seasonal profiles of the fishery. Results indicate that an increased ability to target the most profitable fishing grounds may influence fleet diversity positively or negatively, depending on overall exploitation level. High exploitation rates also increase the temporal fluctuations in fleet diversity and profits, which are amplified as the fish-finding ability increases.
Publisher's version, source: http://doi.org/10.12952/journal.elementa.000110.