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Technical efficiency in EU fisheries: Implications for monitoring and management through effort control

Effort control measurements in the European Union are currently based largely on the reduction of capacity, measured in terms of days fished, engine power and gross tonnage. However, effort depends on factors other than the physical characteristics of the boat and the number of days fished. These factors manifest themselves as differences in the level of technical efficiency of the vessels. Understanding the extent to which technical efficiency varies in different fishing fleets has implications for the targeting and effectiveness of effort control programmes. Differences in apparent technical efficiency may be due, however, to mis-reporting of landings. Multi-output measures of technical efficiency will be derived and applied to a range of different fishing fleets. The possible effects of mis-reporting on these measures will be estimated, and the implications for monitoring and effort control measures derived.

The objective of the study is to determine the most appropriate methodology for estimating the level and distribution of efficiency and the potential output, given a set of efficiently used inputs in a number of EU fisheries. While methods currently exist, these methods may not be directly applicable to fisheries due to the multi-output nature of production and the level of uncertainty inherent in fisheries. In addition, the data from fisheries are often subject to problems of mis-reporting, due to either discarding or illegal landings of catch. Thus the output measure may be distorted. The effect of mis-reporting catches on the estimation of technical efficiency will be assessed using a hypothetical data set with known levels of mis-reporting. From this, it is expected that the extent of mis-reporting in EU fisheries may be estimated by using the multi-output measures.

Progress to Date
The project has been completed. The draft final report and revised deliverables have been submitted to the Commission.

The area of efficiency analysis, while well established in most other industries, is relatively new in fisheries. Many problems not encountered in other industries were incorporated into the analyses of EU fisheries, such as variable stocks and multiple outputs. A number of new techniques were developed by the project team to enable these features to be incorporated into the analyses, so the project not only improved the information base for fisheries management, but also advanced the state of the art for the assessment of efficiency in fisheries.


Scientist responsible for the project

Locksway Road
P04 8JF Portsmouth
United Kingdom (The) - GB

Phone: +44 2392 844242
Fax: +44 2392 844037


Project ID QLRT-1999-01295
Organisation University of Portsmouth-Higher Education Corporation
Area 5.4
Start date 01 January 2000
Duration (months) 36
Total cost 1 127 342 €
Total EC contribution   965 216 €
Status Completed

The partners

  • National Agricultural Research Foundation - Fisheries Research Institute, Greece - GR
  • Modelizacion Economica y Matematica de Pesquerias, Spain - ES
  • Department of Environmental and Business Economics, Denmark - DK
  • Danish Research Institute of Food Economics (FOI), Denmark - DK

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