Spatial planning constraining cross-border international Baltic fisheries

 We have just submitted an abstract to the next IIFET conference (International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade) about an impact assessment we are conducting on the large-scale western Baltic Sea fisheries:

“Supporting bio-economic evaluation of spatial planning constraining fishing activities: be quantitative, spatially-explicit, vessel-oriented, dynamic stochastic, and coupled to fish populations”

Maritime spatial planning and fishery management are likely to generate extra costs for the fisheries by constraining fishermen activity with conservation areas and new utilization of the sea such as offshore windmill parks. Growing concerns for greener and energy efficient fisheries are also likely to alter existing fishing patterns already varying from fishery to fishery and from vessel to vessel.

In this context, impact assessment of new spatial plans should support quantitative analyses that take into account individual vessel behaviour, local practices and tradeoffs in conflict resolutions. We used a vessel-oriented decision-support tool (the DISPLACE model) for combining stochastic spatial fishing activities to harvested resource dynamics over time in scenario projections.

The impact assessment computes time series of economic and stock status indicators by considering the activity of Danish, Swedish and German vessels (>12m) in the international western Baltic Sea, together with the underlying size-based distribution dynamics of sprat, herring and cod. The outcomes of alternative solutions in spatial effort allocation and displacement are exemplified by evaluating the fishermen capacity to adapt to spatial plans under various constraints.

The DISPLACE model serves as a benchmark tool for management strategy evaluations which are able to capture short-term economic behavioral reactions from individual tactical decision-making. This study is conducted in association with a number of EU research projects and the development of a spatial explicit bio-economic model that covers both many stocks and fisheries has the potential to form near future developments in ICES and EU within the context of maritime spatial planning.