Competitive interactions between pulse and beam trawlers in the Southern part of the North Sea

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    Since 2009 every European member state is allowed to replace 5% of its beam trawl fleet by pulse trawlers to target demersal fish in the Southern part of the North Sea. Compared to beam trawling, pulse trawling is more efficient in terms of fuel use, reduces by-catches and has less disturbance of the seafloor. The Dutch beam trawl fleet switched gradually to pulse trawling and since 2012, 42 vessels are equipped with pulse fishing gear to target sole (Solea solea). Simultaneous changes occurred in the fishing effort distribution of Belgian beam trawlers. Effort is reduced on fishing grounds which they exploit together with pulse trawlers
    and reallocated to areas where pulse trawlers do not fish. This study investigates the relationship between the introduction of pulse trawlers and the changed effort patterns of Belgian vessels. The focus of this study is on the short term and reversible mechanism of interference between fishing vessels. This mechanism is examined based on the difference in weekly exploitation patterns of Belgian and Dutch fishing vessels. Dutch fishermen typically make fishing trips from Monday until Thursday, while Belgian fishermen continue fishing during weekends. Thus, if interference competition increased, we hypothesize that daily catch rates during weekends should be higher than during weekdays. Logbook data of commercial Belgian beam trawlers were
    used to fit a regression model with an interaction effect accounting for the weekend effect. Other relevant covariates accounting for skipper effect and spatio-temporal variation are included as well. Results show differences in catch rates for sole between weekdays and weekends. In 2012 and 2013, daily sole catches are higher during weekends than during weekdays. Before 2012, in absence of pulse trawling no difference was measured. For plaice (Pleuronectes platessa), there was no weekend effect in 2012, but in 2013 there was a negative effect during weekends. For the values of landings, there was only a negative effect during weekends
    in 2012. Our results show that interference competition for the target species sole increased. Fishermen reacted in different ways, some fishermen fish less in the Southern part of the North Sea and reallocate effort to other fishing areas while other fishermen changed their strategy by targeting plaice to balance the loss of sole in 2013.
    Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
    Aantal pagina’s1
    PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - apr.-2015
    EvenementEAFE 2015 - XXII Conference of the European Association of Fisheries Economists - Salerno , Italië
    Duur: 28-apr.-201530-apr.-2015


    CongresEAFE 2015 - XXII Conference of the European Association of Fisheries Economists


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