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RESOURCE RENT IN EU FISHERIES

The study simulates recovery of stocks and elimination of overcapacity of seven EU fisheries, which represented in 2005-7 about 20% of the EU fisheries production. For each fishery 12-14 scenarios have been simulated and analysed. The main results are presented in terms of net profit which is interpreted as an indicator of the level and trend of the resource rent. 

 
The seven fisheries generated in 2005-7 annually a net profit of 212 mln euro with about 7,400 vessels. In the baseline scenario the total nominal net profit of these fisheries increases to 1 bln euro by year 15, while the fleet would be reduced to 5,700 vessels. Consequently, the net profit/vessel would increase by 520%. Despite the significant costs of such adaptation, the total annual average net present value of the net profit over the 15 years would be almost 500 mln euro, 130% more than the average profits of 2005-7. The average discounted net profit per vessel would be over the 15 years 200% higher than in 2005-7
 
The scenarios indicate that the structure of the fleets involved in the various fisheries would change, in some case even very significantly, towards the relatively more efficient segments. This implies that significantly higher earnings would be shared among a smaller group of beneficiaries.
 
Despite the far reaching assumptions, the scenarios confirm that significantly better economic performance can be achieved in the EU fisheries sector. The potential for improvements is very different in different fisheries. The study demonstrates that management policies must be tailored to the nature of the fisheries and that one panacea does not exist. 
 
It cannot be concluded that more restrictive policies would in general lead to better economic results. The scenarios show that structural changes in the fleet composition are one of the drivers of higher profits. This implies that promotion of economic efficiency and optimization of the fisheries contribution to the EU economy calls for creation of conditions within which the vessel operators will be able to adapt flexibly to the existing fishing opportunities within the long term sustainability constraint.
 

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