Technical University of Denmark
SEAwise_D2_10_SEAwise_synthesis_economic_social_final_w_doi.pdf (6.81 MB)

SEAwise first synthetic summary report on social and economic aspects of fishing for online tool

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posted on 2024-04-18, 09:08 authored by Isabella Bitetto, Maria-Teresa Spedicato, Guiseppe Lembo, Angelos Plataniotis, Georgios Halkos, Phoebe Koundouri, Marga Andrés, Mercedes Caro, Dorleta García, Rüdiger Voss, Vasiliki Vasilopoulou, Angelos Liontakis, Vasiliki Sgardeli, Alexander Kempf, Marc Taylor, Bernhard Kühn, Marloes KraanMarloes Kraan, Katell HamonKatell Hamon, Debbie Pedreschi, Luke Batts, Angela Muench, Troels Hegland, Furqan Asif, Katia Frangoudes, Christelle Le Grand, Klaas Sys, J. (Jochen) Depestele, Anna RindorfAnna Rindorf

The SEAwise project works to deliver a fully operational tool that will allow fishers, managers, and policy makers to easily apply Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management. This SEAwise report synthesizes social and economic aspects of fishing, providing an idea of the indirect impact of the fisheries on the local and coastal communities in terms of relevant indicators (e.g. full equivalent employment and added values) to describe the sale and purchase interdependencies between producers and consumers within national and regional economies. An accurate representation of the link between fisheries and societal benefits is of paramount importance to summarise all socio-economic effects of specific management.

The key social and economic aspects of fishing explored in this deliverable are:

  • Comparison of small-scale fisheries (SSF) and large-scale fisheries (LSF) in terms of capacity, economic and social indicators,
  • Evaluation of the direct effect of fishing sector on connected economic sectors for SSF and LSF,
  • Definition of the fishing communities as one of the aspects of relevance to look at to better understand the social and economic importance of fishing,
  • Evaluation of the impact of the fuel price on the fish prices, as an element affecting both demand and supply,
  • Overview of the fishing footprint in terms of CO2 emissions, influenced by the gear utilized and the vessel length across 7 different fisheries in Europe by Country.

The fisheries considered are specifically:

  • Demersal fisheries operating in Western Waters (Bay of Biscay), including vessels from Spain and France;
  • Demersal fisheries operating in Western Waters (Celtic Sea), including vessels from Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Ireland and England;
  • Pelagic fisheries operating in Western Waters (Bay of Biscay), including vessels from Basque Country;
  • Demersal fisheries operating in North Sea, including vessels from Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Scotland, Germany, Nederland, Scotland and Sweden;
  • Demersal fisheries, operating in Central Mediterranean Sea (Adriatic and Western Ionian Sea), including vessels from Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Albania and Montenegro;
  • Demersal fisheries, operating in Eastern Mediterranean Sea (Eastern Ionian Sea), including vessels from Greece;
  • Trawl fisheries operating in the Western Baltic Sea, including vessels from Denmark, Sweden, and Germany.

Across the different regions considered, the SSF is more represented in Mediterranean than in Western Waters and North Sea, although the definition of SSF utilised was not the same. In all case studies, SSF carbon footprint is lower than the one of LSF, due to the higher fuel consumption associated to active gears. Moreover, LSF generally fish far away from the home port, further increasing the use of fuel to reach fishing grounds.

Although SSF has generally a landing value lower than the LSF, from a social point of view, especially in Mediterranean, the number of employees is quite even and, in some cases, SSF has more employees than LSF.

The fuel price influences fish price for the stocks characterizing the landings of the specific fisheries. In Mediterranean case studies, deep-water rose shrimp and mullets prices were affected by the fuel price. In Germany, the fuel impacts were significant only for whiting, while for Spain the correlation was found weakly significant only for haddock (small scale fleet) and sole (large scale). No significant relationship was found for Ireland, while for France a weak significance was observed for haddock and whiting (large scale). The testing of linear correlation between fish price and fuel price by stock highlighted for Belgium a significant dependence for Nephrops in area VII and for Sole in area 27.VII.e for large scale fleet. Turbot price was significantly affected by the fuel price in North Sea in several Countries.

The fuel costs impacted GVA of LSF more than of SSF across the case studies, although the capital and the labour costs represent also a key element of the economic performance of both fleets. The recent increase in fuel price is expected to impact both fleets negatively (STECF, 2022), with increasing fish price impacting only a few species of the considered fisheries while operating costs are increased.

The fuel consumption and the GVA were identified as the most important economic indicators, while the number of employees and the average wage were considered the most important from a social point of view. The carbon emissions were also identified as a major aspect of fishing in terms of human footprint.

In the context of governance, the 2013 reform of the CFP emphasized that the policy rests on the three dimensions of sustainability: social, economic, and environmental. In this report, we have highlighted preliminary findings focused on the social and economic aspects of fishing within the EU.

The key indicators and suggestions described in this report to enhance the prototype will be used in the further work in SEAwise on the EBFM toolbox.

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Shaping ecosystem based fisheries management

European Commission

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