At the Dutch EEZ a number of Natura 2000 sites are appointed, for which management measures are developed. In many of these areas a fishing zoning is applied. In other words, in certain (sub) regions, specific forms (or all types) of fisheries are excluded. It is expected by these measures that prohibiting the (bottom) fishery, degraded nature can recover.
A lot of research has been devoted to investigating the function of closed areas as fisheries management measure. The main conclusions of this work are: a. The closed areas can be a good way to help restore overfished stocks, and b. the fish populations in closed areas, in principle, can be a source of fish for the surrounding, fished areas. The export of fish from unfished areas will not directly lead to a higher total catch due to area closure, but it may provide a buffer for the fished populations, and hence reduce the risk of overfishing. Due to the exchange of fish between closed and open areas, closure of a certain fraction of the area being fished may not lead to a proportional decrease of the catch. Especially if the effort outside the closed area is used elsewhere after closure.
Under this program, an approach is described on how a study may provide insight into the effects of closed areas to fishing. The approach focuses on the information and analyses needed to assess the effects in the North Sea, specifically designated for the N2000 areas. The approach will generate a guideline for a possible large-scale follow-up study in which these effects are assessed.
|Effective start/end date||1/01/15 → 31/12/18|