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Nuts and bolts in fisheries management--a technological approach to sustainable fisheries?

By Dag Standal


According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, overcapacity in the fishing fleet poses a fundamental challenge in fisheries. Overcapacity leads to an increased pressure on fish stocks and a decrease in economic profit. The fishing fleet is marginalised economically, and overcapacity creates allocation conflicts between different gear and vessel groups. In addition, the expenses to control and management increase. Although Norwegian authorities have introduced several restrictions, for example total allowable catch, licenses, vessel quotas, and other regulatory measures, this article shows that the problems connected to overcapacity persist. Analyses of the technical capacity development show that there is an overall capacity expansion although the number of vessels is reduced. This development is an indicator of the dynamics of technological development over time, and the article discusses whether the concept of technology is sufficiently integrated into fisheries management. The important question now is whether analyses of the technical capacity development can serve as a positive supplement to the traditional fisheries management, which largely is based on input from the scientific disciplines biology and economics.Capacity expansion Technology Sustainable management

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