Journal Article

Modelling fishing location choice within mixed fisheries: English North Sea beam trawlers in 2000 and 2001

Trevor Hutton, Simon Mardle, Sean Pascoe and Robin A. Clark

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 61, issue 8, pages 1443-1452
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.icesjms.2004.08.016
Modelling fishing location choice within mixed fisheries: English North Sea beam trawlers in 2000 and 2001

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Numerous studies have proposed methodologies to model fisher behaviour with the aim of predicting the outcomes of decision-making on board a fishing vessel. Both short- and long-term processes (e.g. investment) impact fleet dynamics. The proposed structure of the models has tended to depend upon the nature of the fishery and the control variables (technical restrictions, quotas, effort control, and/or closed areas). For example, within the context of multi-stock, multi-fleet fisheries (mixed fisheries), a skipper will allocate effort (as input to the production process) to harvest a range of species. Spatial complexity is normally excluded in models of behaviour. In this paper, two spatial analyses are presented for modelling location choice: an analysis based on a random utility model (RUM), and a simplified simulation model of individual vessels that depends on the results of the RUM. These models are applied to the English beam-trawl fleet operating in the North Sea in 2000. The results from the RUM indicate that the number of trips, the average trip length, and the average effort in each ICES rectangle are significant variables affecting location choice, in addition to catch rate for the previous year (1999), weighted by value. The last result is used as an assumption in a simulation model of fishing effort, i.e. fishers make decisions on spatial location of operation on the basis of past catch rates. The simulation model is used to predict the distribution of the same fleet for one month during the temporary closure in the North Sea in 2001. The predicted values for effort relate well to the fishing patterns observed.

Keywords: discrete choice modelling; fleet dynamics; location choice; random utility; spatial analysis

Journal Article.  6799 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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