Thirty years of fleet dynamics modelling using discrete-choice models: What have we learned?

Raphaël Girardin, Katell G. Hamon, John Pinnegar, Jan Jaap Poos, Olivier Thébaud, Alex Tidd, Youen Vermard, Paul Marchal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Anticipating fisher behaviour is necessary for successful fisheries management. Of the different concepts that have been developed to understand individual fisher behaviour, random utility models (RUMs) have attracted considerable attention in the past three decades, and more particularly so since the 2000s. This study aimed at summarizing and analysing the information gathered from RUMs used during the last three decades around the globe. A methodology has been developed to standardize information across different studies and compare RUM results. The studies selected focused on fishing effort allocation. Six types of fisher behaviour drivers were considered: the presence of other vessels in the same fishing area, tradition, expected revenue, species targeting, costs, and risk-taking. Analyses were performed using three separate linear modelling approaches to assess the extent to which these different drivers impacted fisher behaviour in three fleet types: fleets fishing for demersal species using active gears, fleets fishing for demersal species using passive gears and fleets fishing for pelagic species. Fishers are attracted by higher expected revenue, tradition, species targeting and presence of others, but avoid choices involving large costs. Results also suggest that fishers fishing for demersal species using active gears are generally more influenced by past seasonal (long-term) patterns than by the most recent (short-term) information. Finally, the comparison of expected revenue with other fisher behaviour drivers highlights that demersal fishing vessels are risk-averse and that tradition and species targeting influence fisher decisions more than expected revenue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)638-655
JournalFish and Fisheries
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Fisher behaviour
  • meta-analysis
  • random utility model


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