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Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2016, Vol 16, Num, 3     (Pages: 659-668)

Increasing Fuel Prices, Decreasing Fish Prices and Low Productivity Lead to Poor Economic Performance and Capacity Reduction in the Fishing Sector: Evidence from the Spanish Mediterranean

Jordi Guillen 1 ,Francesc Maynou 1

1 Institut de Ciències del Mar - CSIC, Psg. Marítim de la Barceloneta 37-49, 08003 Barcelona, Spain DOI : 10.4194/1303-2712-v16_3_20 Viewed : 1833 - Downloaded : 1248 Fuel price increases have been identified as a major factor explaining the low economic performance of fishing fleets. Fishers have reacted by reducing costs and increasing fuel efficiency of their vessels when possible, and by reducing the days spent at sea or ceasing activity. However, fuel prices explain only part of the story. We analyzed the evolution of fuel prices, fish prices, fishing activity and productivity over a 14 year period (2000-13) for the Catalan fleet (Spanish Mediterranean). Most fish prices have increased but below inflation, or even decreased, in recent years. These low fish prices, together with low vessel productivity, mainly due to the poor status of the stocks, have worsened the already poor profitability of the sector and led to a decrease in the activity (in terms of total effort and capacity). Keywords : Fuel efficiency, overexploitation, fish prices, economic performance, Mediterranean fisheries