Catch-Quota Pilot Study on the Dutch commercial fishery on cod (Gadus morhua)(first period: 2010-2012

A.T.M. van Helmond, A.S. Couperus, M.J.M. Warmerdam, D.W. van Tuinen

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional


The possibility to operate a catch-quota scheme on Dutch commercial fishing vessels was investigated in a pilot study on the commercial fishery on cod (Gadus Morhua). The project started at the end of 2010 and was fully operational, with five Dutch registered vessels, in 2011. To be able to implement a catch quota management system, monitoring and reporting of the total catches is an essential element. This might be done by using electronic monitoring (EM). The participating vessels received up to 30% additional cod quota under the condition that all cod caught was recorded (including discards) and being deducted from this quota. To verify catches, each vessel was equipped with an electronic monitoring system, involving closed circuit television (cctv) and monitoring sensors. The basic principle of monitoring the catch-quota scheme was to check, using EM video recordings, whether the entire total catches of cod (i.e. landings and discards) was taken onboard and whether it was fully accounted for by the fishers in their logbooks. EM was used to randomly cross-check the logbooks catch entries with EM footage. The two main objectives of this study are: 1) Evaluate the ability of EM to verify reported cod catches and 2) To explore a possible discard reduction of cod or other changes of fishing behavior under a catch quota regime. Provided that all electronic monitoring equipment is up and running and footage is recorded from the right positions onboard the vessels, then, according to the results of this pilot study, EM is able to verify reported cod catches. However, the results do not demonstrate a reduction of discards nor a behavioral change among participants as a response to the catch-quota regime. Note that this result is based on a very low sample size only. Results of this study demonstrate the potential of EM as a valuable monitoring and possible enforcement tool that might be used to successfully implement innovative management schemes like a catch-quota regime.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationIJmuiden
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameReport / IMARES Wageningen UR


  • quotas
  • fish catches
  • cod
  • monitoring
  • electronics
  • fishery management
  • netherlands

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