Fisheries policy in the Faroe Islands: Managing for failure?

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Marine Policy, ISSN: 0308-597X, Vol: 94, Page: 204-214

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Rannvá Danielsen; Sveinn Agnarsson
Elsevier BV
Agricultural and Biological Sciences; Environmental Science; Economics, Econometrics and Finance; Social Sciences
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article description
The Faroe Islands have had five different fisheries management regimes for their demersal home fleet between 1948 and 2018: open access; regulated open access; a licensing system; a brief period of individual transferable quotas (ITQ); and, since 1996, an effort quota system, where the main control component comprises fishing days without total allowable catch (TAC) control. The Faroese cod and haddock stocks are severely overfished, and the fleet is largely unprofitable because of excess capacity and the stocks’ poor state. This paper describes and analyses the main characteristics of the regimes and developments in policy to determine why management has failed. The results are compared with the Faroese pelagic and distant-water fleets, which are managed jointly with other coastal states using TAC and ITQ, to identify inconsistencies in policy and implementation. The conclusion is that the Faroese authorities have 1) persistently believed that fishing can be directed away from overfished stocks but have failed to accomplish this; 2) demonstrated short-sightedness in the management of their demersal fishery; 3) shown an unwillingness to effectively reduce fishing pressure and — by implication – employment in the fisheries sector for the sake of sustainability; and 4) shown that they can manage their fleets sustainably, as demonstrated by the pelagic and distant-water fleets, but have largely been unwilling to regarding the home fleet.