Socio-economic advice in the allocation of quota Griffin Carpenter

Socio-economic advice in the allocation of quota
Griffin Carpenter
Economic Modeller, New Economics Foundation, Economic modelling to support fisheries
Article 17 of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) states that “When allocating the
fishing opportunities available to them, as referred to in Article 16, member states shall use
transparent and objective criteria including those of an environmental, social and economic
nature.” The phrasing is such that the specific criteria to apply in allocating quota (and other
fishing opportunities) is a decision left to Member States. However, the obligation that the
criteria chosen be transparent and objective, and also that these decisions have the
potential to significantly alter the structure and performance of the Member States’ fishing
fleets demands sound socio-economic advice to support decision-making.
The Bio-Economic Model of European Fleets (BEMEF) represents the first macro approach to
analyse the potential impacts from applying different criteria to the allocation of fishing
quota, including criteria on fuel minimisation, job maximisation, effort minimisation and
profit maximisation. The model allocated quota amongst a Member State’s fleet by ranking
fleet performance over a three-year base period using data from the Annual Economic
Report. Potential impacts are then calculated by scaling economic performance from the
new quota allocations based on reported economic and effort data. There is enough data
available in the Annual Economic Report to cover 263 fleets from 15 EU Member States.
Current model development is underway to simulate non-linearities in fleet performance
from marginal changes to quota amounts.
The results of this modelling exercise indicate that not only is the application of
environmental, social and economic criteria now a requirement as part of the CFP, but that
doing so also carries potentially large socio-economic benefits in terms of reductions in
greenhouse gas emissions, GVA generated and jobs supported – depending on the criteria
used. The choice between criteria also carries trade-offs and not all outcomes can be
simultaneously maximised.
As different Member States have very different quota allocation systems already in place it
is important to go deeper than the macro results to capture these national realities. A
descriptive overview of how Article 17 likely applies to different Member States is provided.
A case study in how Article 17 could be applied to the sea bass fishery in the UK is also
While not under managed under a Total Allowable Catch, sea bass is a fish stock that has
come under increasing interest and pressure for decision-makers as the stock is undergoing
dramatic decline and there are limited fishing opportunities to allocated amongst the three
major fleets in the UK (drift and fixed nets, gears using hooks, and demersal trawlers). A
case study is presented in how the application of 13 different criteria might be applied to
decide which fleets should get access to bass fishing opportunities and a multi-criteria
decision analysis (MCDA) that brings all the criteria together. A survey of experts and non-
experts was undertaken to determine the weighting between the different criteria for the
The poster will present the model results from BEMEF, a descriptive section on how socioeconomic advice could be applied through Article 17 in different Member States and a case
study on allocating sea bass fishing opportunities in the UK.