Economic analysis — Seafish

Economic analysis

The reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) introduces a landing obligation to eliminate discarding. Seafish was asked to determine the potential economic implications of this discard ban on UK fleets.

The published reports highlight what could happen under the landing obligation rules, if current fishing patterns do not change. If rules are obeyed in seas where there is a requirement to stop fishing after a single quota has been fully caught, then in short, the fleet segments modelled would potentially suffer very substantial losses in revenues. The purpose of these reports is to draw attention to how much fishing patterns and selectivity needs to change in order to avoid this outcome. 

The Seafish Landing Obligation Economic Impact Assessment (EIA) model was developed using fleet economic performance data, landings data, discard rates observed in the fisheries and quota allocation use by Producer Organisation statistics. This key work has assessed, for key sectors of the UK fleet, the economic implications of a move from pre-landing obligation fisheries management to various potential scenarios under the new landing obligation.

Outputs have been published in a number of reports, all of which can be downloaded below.

  • Case study review of the potential economic implications of the proposed landing obligation on the Irish Sea Nephrops trawl fleet, the North Sea mixed whitefish fleets and Nephrops fleet. This was published in January 2014.
  • Interim Report One: Choke analysis illustrated, if LO obligation rules were applied to actual fishing activities in 2013, what impact the LO might have had on business outcomes of different fleet segments. The analysis assumed that fleets would have stopped fishing when they ran out of quota for any fish stock - known as a choke situation. This was published in March 2015.
  • Interim Report Two: Scenario analysis presents different outcomes for the UK fleet based on applying various landing obligation policy levers. Analysis focused on what difference quota uplift, exemptions and flexibilities could make to choke points and the activity and business performance of UK fleet segments. There is also analysis to show the impact of policy levers on the under 10m fleet and the potential impact on the Nephrops fleet of assumed improvements in catch selectivity. This was published in August 2015.
  • Landing Obligation Economic Impact Assessment Final Reportanalysed the potential impacts of the landing obligation for the UK fleet if there were no major changes in fishing patterns. It explored the potential value of different policy levers (landing obligation exemptions) to the UK fleet; identified potential choke stocks and associated choke points in different sea areas, and different fleet segments; and identified areas of greatest challenge for the UK. This was published in February 2016.
  • Seafish Bio economic modelling 2017-2019. This analysis of the choke points and problem stocks for the UK fleet under the LO (2017-2019) focussed on analysis of the likelihood that choke stocks could occur as a result of the landing obligation in five UK demersal fleet segments in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and whether the movement of quota could delay the choke points identified. This was published in April 2017.


Seafish reports can be found below. For further information contact Arina Motova.