Mismanagement of the North Sea cod by the Council of the European Union

Froese, Rainer and Quaas, Martin (2012) Mismanagement of the North Sea cod by the Council of the European Union Ocean & Coastal Management, 70 . pp. 54-58. DOI 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.04.005.

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Abstract

The North Sea cod stock is outside of safe biological limits, yet it continues to suffer from overfishing at three times the level that could produce the maximum sustainable yield (MSY). As a result, the subpopulation of cod in the southern North Sea may have gone extinct. Continued overfishing was decided and thus legalized by the Council of European agriculture ministers despite repeated scientific advice, since 2003, to close the fishery. Here we show that with observed recruitment, a three-year closure of the cod-fishery from 2003 to 2005 would have rebuilt the stock sufficiently for fishing activities to resume. MSY-level fishing pressure would then have allowed further recovery of the stock and would have led to high profits that could have easily paid for the costs of the closure. We stress that this recovery scenario is not unrealistic because it is built on actual recruitment, fish growth, and landing prices. Given the gross management failure, we question the functionality of the current management system.
Highlights:
The North Sea cod stock is outside of safe biological limits. ► A three-year closure between 2003-2005 would have rebuilt the stock sufficiently for fishing to resume. ► MSY-level fishing pressure would have allowed further recovery of the stock. ► The actual management ignored scientific advice, economic considerations and international agreements.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000312468900008
Keywords: Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes; North Sea Cod; mismanagement; European Fisheries Policy; GADUS-MORHUA; RECOVERY; STOCKS
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes
Kiel University > Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Economics
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.04.005
ISSN: 0964-5691
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2012 09:56
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2013 08:20
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/14254

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