Lessons for fisheries management from the enEuropean UnionEU cod recovery plan
The performance of the EU long-term management plan for cod stocks, in force since 2009,is analysed focusing on the human and institutional factors. The plan operates through landings quotas (TACs) and effort restrictions following a Harvest Control Rule, and deploys a novel instrumental lowing Member States to "buyback" or increase fishing effort for fleet segments engaged in cod-avoidance measures. The stipulated fishing mortality reductions have not been achieved. On the positive side, the"buy-back" instrument has led to increased uptake of selective gear and implementation of permanent and real-time temporary closures. On the negative side, ignoring the dimension of fisherys reactive agents in the design, the impact assessment, and the annual implementation of the measures has contributed to the failure to adequately implement the plan and achieve its objectives. The main problem is that the landings quotas taken in a mixed fishery did not limit catches because fishers were incentivised to continue fishing and discard over quota catch while quota for other species was available.