Journal : Fisheries Research , vol. 246 , p. 1–9 , 2022
Publisher : Elsevier
International Standard Numbers
Printed : 0165-7836
Electronic : 1872-6763
Publication type : Academic article
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This study examined the effects of key fishing tactics such as the choice of fishing gear and catch size, an indicator of swift and intense fishing, on the quality of landed fish. The effects of changes in yearly TACs, and thus catch shares, vessel size (length) and vessel age on fish quality were also investigated. A data set consisting of objective quality assessments of Atlantic cod in 432 catches from the coastal cod fishery in Norway, combined with details about the same catches was analyzed. The statistical analysis showed that fishing gear affected fish quality, but to a variable degree, with gillnets and Danish seines, the preferred methods in this fishery, providing the poorest-quality fish. It was also found that catch size had a negative impact on fish quality for gillnets, handlines, and Danish seines, but not for longlines. The results indicate that fishers’ tactical decisions regarding what fishing gear to use, and how swiftly and intensely to fish, may lead to poor-quality fish being landed. Although this may be economically rational for fishers in a fishery with no restrictions on the choice of fishing gear and catch sizes, and where quality-based pricing is largely absent, it may lead to a substantial reduction in value-adding opportunities in downstream processing and marketing.