February 1st to 5th 2016
Olhão, Portugal
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What are we losing? - An Economic perspective of fisheries discards in Portugal

Scientific Exhibition
Natural Resources
Wednesday, February 3, 2016 -
18:30 to 20:00

Leitão, F. 1 Baptista, V. 2

1Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
2Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal

The quantification and composition of the discarded catches and the understanding of the fate and impact of these unreported action is key issue in fisheries. In Portugal it was estimated that 35.5% of the total catch was unreported between 1938 and 2009, most of reports due to. Despite the interest of estimate total catches in weight caught by national fleets few is known about the economy of the fisheries sector. Therefore, new opportunities in fisheries economic sector might arise from unwanted fish that should be obligatory landed. Herein, Portuguese landings economic value were analyzed and discards that account 96% of illegal, undeclared and unreported catches, and represent one third of the total catches, for the period between 1938 and 2009 were used to estimate the potential economic value driven from discards under discard ban policy. The economic value of the fish was measured across time considering national inflation in 2011 and considering different scenarios based on auction sale prices. The decadal price of fish (€/kg) rise from 1940s until 1970s dropping thereafter. Under a discard ban scenario the economic value generated by discards could contribute between 10±4 to 53±16% of the total landings economical value and between 9±3 to 34±6% of the total catches (landings + discards) economical value. Fishing landings auction sales contributed 0.63% in average to gross domestic production (GDP), 1938-2009. The fishing sector with high percentage contribution to economical fleet income under discard ban policy is multispecies (54%), trawl (26%) and seine (20%). Under discard ban scenario the sale of discards could increase fish landings contribution up to 2 to 6% of GDP. Thus, the importance of fisheries to a country's economy, if only based on reported commercial statistics, may be considerably undervalued in cases where discards fisheries are significant, yet unreported. Discard ban can bring some opportunities in national context for revitalize at some extend fisheries economy.
keywords: 
Fisheries economic sector, Discards, Portuguese Landings, Discards ban

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