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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Principles and Guidelines for Decommissioning Schemes

Decommissioning schemes have been demonstrated to be a useful policy tool in certain circumstances. They can accelerate the transition to a rationalised fishery managed on the basis of stronger use and access rights and improved ecosystem health. As part of a package of transitional assistance and management changes, they can provide a window of opportunity to help transform the nature of a fishery from one characterised by non-cooperative behaviour to one in which incentives are well-aligned and cooperation is the rational outcome of interactions between fishers. In effect, decommissioning schemes can serve as “shock therapy” to help fisheries adjust.

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