Unsuitability of TAC management within an ecosystem approach to fisheries: An ecological perspective

  • Published source details Reiss H., Greenstreet S.P.R., Robinson L., Ehrich S., Jørgensen L.L., Piet G.J. & Wolff W.J. (2010) Unsuitability of TAC management within an ecosystem approach to fisheries: An ecological perspective. Journal of Sea Research, 63, 85-92.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Introduce an overall catch limit (quota cap or total allowable catch) by fishery or fleet

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Introduce an overall catch limit (quota cap or total allowable catch) by fishery or fleet

    A replicated, before-and-after study in 1997–2004 of seabed across the whole of the North Sea, northern Europe (Reiss et al. 2010) found that changes in annual total allowable catch limits (TACs) for six main commercial fish species resulted in similar direction changes in fishing effort for half of the otter trawl fleets, but there were no changes in effort for beam trawl fleets. For otter trawl fleets, corresponding changes in fishing effort with changing TACs (i.e. decrease or increase in effort with decreasing or increasing TAC) were found between four of eight comparisons: cod Gadus morhua TACs and the English and Scottish, but not German trawl effort; whiting Merlangius merlangus TAC and English trawl effort; and saithe Pollachius virens TACs and Norwegian, but not German, trawl effort. No effect of changes was found for haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus TACs and Scottish and Norwegian otter trawl effort. For beam trawl fleets, there were no effects of changes in plaice Pleuronectes platessa and common sole Solea solea TACs on trawl effort of five national fleets (data presented as graphical trends – see original paper). Fishing effort and total allowable catch data for 1997–2004 were compiled for the North Sea. Otter trawl and beam trawl effort targeting the main demersal (bottom) fish species were examined from the German, English, Norwegian, Dutch and Scottish fleets. These data were summarised to produce estimates of the number of hours of fishing effort/year for each International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) management rectangle (0.5° latitude by 1.0° longitude) and aggregated across rectangles to provide annual North Sea effort estimates. Annual total allowable catch data were used for the main demersal commercial target species.

    (Summarised by: Natasha Taylor)

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