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The impact of subsidies on the ecological sustainability and future profits from North Sea fisheries.

Heymans JJ, Mackinson S, Sumaila UR, Dyck A, Little A - PLoS ONE (2011)

Bottom Line: The study includes subsidies in an ecosystem model of the North Sea and examines the possible effects of eliminating fishery subsidies.This analysis also shows that when subsidies are included, effort will always be higher for all fleets, because it effectively reduces the cost of fishing.When subsidies are eliminated, the study shows that rather than forcing those involved in the fishery into the red, fisheries become more profitable, despite a decrease in total revenue due to a loss of subsidies from the government.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Scottish Association for Marine Science, Scottish Marine Institute, Oban, Argyll, United Kingdom. sheilaheymans@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT

Background: This study examines the impact of subsidies on the profitability and ecological stability of the North Sea fisheries over the past 20 years. It shows the negative impact that subsidies can have on both the biomass of important fish species and the possible profit from fisheries. The study includes subsidies in an ecosystem model of the North Sea and examines the possible effects of eliminating fishery subsidies.

Methodology/principal findings: Hindcast analysis between 1991 and 2003 indicates that subsidies reduced the profitability of the fishery even though gross revenue might have been high for specific fisheries sectors. Simulations seeking to maximise the total revenue between 2004 and 2010 suggest that this can be achieved by increasing the effort of Nephrops trawlers, beam trawlers, and the pelagic trawl-and-seine fleet, while reducing the effort of demersal trawlers. Simulations show that ecological stability can be realised by reducing the effort of the beam trawlers, Nephrops trawlers, pelagic- and demersal trawl-and-seine fleets. This analysis also shows that when subsidies are included, effort will always be higher for all fleets, because it effectively reduces the cost of fishing.

Conclusions/significance: The study found that while removing subsidies might reduce the total catch and revenue, it increases the overall profitability of the fishery and the total biomass of commercially important species. For example, cod, haddock, herring and plaice biomass increased over the simulation when optimising for profit, and when optimising for ecological stability, the biomass for cod, plaice and sole also increased. When subsidies are eliminated, the study shows that rather than forcing those involved in the fishery into the red, fisheries become more profitable, despite a decrease in total revenue due to a loss of subsidies from the government.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Percentage increase in ecosystem indices when optimising for profit                            or ecological stability without subidies.The percentage difference in ecosystem redundancy, FiB, and the biomass                            of cod, haddock, whiting, Nephrops, Norway pout, plaice and sole at end                            of the simulation (2010) and the total catch, cumulative profit and                            landed value of all species between 1991–2010 when subsidies were                            excluded and optimising for profit or ecological stability. Positive                            values indicate that removing subsidies would increase values, such as                            that of cumulative profit and biomass. Negative values indicate that                            excluding subsidies have a negative impact, such as the reduction in                            landed value obtained without subsidies. The large increase in                            cumulative profit without subsidies when ecological stability is the                            objective function shows the importance of removing subsidies to the                            profitability of the fisheries.
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pone-0020239-g008: Percentage increase in ecosystem indices when optimising for profit or ecological stability without subidies.The percentage difference in ecosystem redundancy, FiB, and the biomass of cod, haddock, whiting, Nephrops, Norway pout, plaice and sole at end of the simulation (2010) and the total catch, cumulative profit and landed value of all species between 1991–2010 when subsidies were excluded and optimising for profit or ecological stability. Positive values indicate that removing subsidies would increase values, such as that of cumulative profit and biomass. Negative values indicate that excluding subsidies have a negative impact, such as the reduction in landed value obtained without subsidies. The large increase in cumulative profit without subsidies when ecological stability is the objective function shows the importance of removing subsidies to the profitability of the fisheries.

Mentions: The impact of subsidies on the ecosystem indicators such as redundancy, FiB total biomass of important species, total catch, cumulative catch and landed values is depicted in Figure 8 which shows the percentage difference in these indices without subsidies when optimising for profit or ecological stability. Without subisidies the cumulative profit of the fishery when optimising for ecological stability would be 8% higher, while when optimising for profit it would have been 2% higher. In addition, the fishery would have been more balanced (positive FiB) when optimising for ecological stability, while optimising for profit without subsidies would cause the fishery to change dramatically and give a negative FiB (Figure 8).


The impact of subsidies on the ecological sustainability and future profits from North Sea fisheries.

Heymans JJ, Mackinson S, Sumaila UR, Dyck A, Little A - PLoS ONE (2011)

Percentage increase in ecosystem indices when optimising for profit                            or ecological stability without subidies.The percentage difference in ecosystem redundancy, FiB, and the biomass                            of cod, haddock, whiting, Nephrops, Norway pout, plaice and sole at end                            of the simulation (2010) and the total catch, cumulative profit and                            landed value of all species between 1991–2010 when subsidies were                            excluded and optimising for profit or ecological stability. Positive                            values indicate that removing subsidies would increase values, such as                            that of cumulative profit and biomass. Negative values indicate that                            excluding subsidies have a negative impact, such as the reduction in                            landed value obtained without subsidies. The large increase in                            cumulative profit without subsidies when ecological stability is the                            objective function shows the importance of removing subsidies to the                            profitability of the fisheries.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3102685&req=5

pone-0020239-g008: Percentage increase in ecosystem indices when optimising for profit or ecological stability without subidies.The percentage difference in ecosystem redundancy, FiB, and the biomass of cod, haddock, whiting, Nephrops, Norway pout, plaice and sole at end of the simulation (2010) and the total catch, cumulative profit and landed value of all species between 1991–2010 when subsidies were excluded and optimising for profit or ecological stability. Positive values indicate that removing subsidies would increase values, such as that of cumulative profit and biomass. Negative values indicate that excluding subsidies have a negative impact, such as the reduction in landed value obtained without subsidies. The large increase in cumulative profit without subsidies when ecological stability is the objective function shows the importance of removing subsidies to the profitability of the fisheries.
Mentions: The impact of subsidies on the ecosystem indicators such as redundancy, FiB total biomass of important species, total catch, cumulative catch and landed values is depicted in Figure 8 which shows the percentage difference in these indices without subsidies when optimising for profit or ecological stability. Without subisidies the cumulative profit of the fishery when optimising for ecological stability would be 8% higher, while when optimising for profit it would have been 2% higher. In addition, the fishery would have been more balanced (positive FiB) when optimising for ecological stability, while optimising for profit without subsidies would cause the fishery to change dramatically and give a negative FiB (Figure 8).

Bottom Line: The study includes subsidies in an ecosystem model of the North Sea and examines the possible effects of eliminating fishery subsidies.This analysis also shows that when subsidies are included, effort will always be higher for all fleets, because it effectively reduces the cost of fishing.When subsidies are eliminated, the study shows that rather than forcing those involved in the fishery into the red, fisheries become more profitable, despite a decrease in total revenue due to a loss of subsidies from the government.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Scottish Association for Marine Science, Scottish Marine Institute, Oban, Argyll, United Kingdom. sheilaheymans@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT

Background: This study examines the impact of subsidies on the profitability and ecological stability of the North Sea fisheries over the past 20 years. It shows the negative impact that subsidies can have on both the biomass of important fish species and the possible profit from fisheries. The study includes subsidies in an ecosystem model of the North Sea and examines the possible effects of eliminating fishery subsidies.

Methodology/principal findings: Hindcast analysis between 1991 and 2003 indicates that subsidies reduced the profitability of the fishery even though gross revenue might have been high for specific fisheries sectors. Simulations seeking to maximise the total revenue between 2004 and 2010 suggest that this can be achieved by increasing the effort of Nephrops trawlers, beam trawlers, and the pelagic trawl-and-seine fleet, while reducing the effort of demersal trawlers. Simulations show that ecological stability can be realised by reducing the effort of the beam trawlers, Nephrops trawlers, pelagic- and demersal trawl-and-seine fleets. This analysis also shows that when subsidies are included, effort will always be higher for all fleets, because it effectively reduces the cost of fishing.

Conclusions/significance: The study found that while removing subsidies might reduce the total catch and revenue, it increases the overall profitability of the fishery and the total biomass of commercially important species. For example, cod, haddock, herring and plaice biomass increased over the simulation when optimising for profit, and when optimising for ecological stability, the biomass for cod, plaice and sole also increased. When subsidies are eliminated, the study shows that rather than forcing those involved in the fishery into the red, fisheries become more profitable, despite a decrease in total revenue due to a loss of subsidies from the government.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus