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Reducing Fishing Capacity

Best Practices for Decommissioning Schemes

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Too many fishing vessels chasing too few fish is a persistent problem in many countries. To address this, governments often turn to vessel decommissioning schemes as a means of adjusting fishing capacity to match available fish resources. This report presents a set of best practice guidelines on the design and implementation of decommissioning schemes. By drawing on case studies of decommissioning schemes from OECD and non-OECD countries, it provides policy makers and fisheries managers with detailed analysis of the economic issues surrounding decommissioning schemes.

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Political Economy Aspects of Decommissioning Schemes

The performance of decommissioning schemes can best be regarded as mixed. While some schemes have achieved lasting capacity reductions in a cost-efficient manner, other schemes have used less cost-effective means of reaching targets. Many schemes, however, did not achieve their objectives in terms of either cost or enduring capacity reductions. The analysis on the economic aspects of decommissioning schemes highlighted a range of factors that underlie the design and implementation of successful decommissioning schemes and have identified potential pitfalls for policy makers. The selected case studies highlighted the ways in which different countries have responded to particular decommissioning challenges focusing on the motivation for the schemes, design details, outcomes and lessons learned. Taken together, the economic analysis and the case studies underscore the need for careful and considered choices to be made when designing and implementing such schemes, a process that is not always simple or straightforward.

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