WP7 Assessing societal expectations and economic values


The overall objective of WP7 is to present the most#up#to#date knowledge on the societal expectations and preferences of citizens and stakeholders, and to assess the economic and governance implications of current management and ecosystem-based fisheries management in Europe. Specifically, the WP7 will:

  1. Assess the societal expectations and preferences of current management and ecosystem-based fisheries management
  2. Develop fisheries economics indicators by analysing fishers income, human consumption and governmental subsidies
  3. Develop an integrated framework (bioeconomic modelling) to assess effects of future changes in the marine ecosystem including biological interactions, habitats, climate change and fisheries
  4. Evaluate the management and governance implications of using indicators that link economy to ecology in ecosystem- based fisheries management.
Description of Work

WP7 will assess the needs and expectations of ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) among the public in selected European countries and will provide some quantitative estimates of trade-offs for EBFM of selected important fisheries in the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean and the Black Seas. The assessment of needs and expectations for EBFM will examine the social and economic factors that may affect ecosystem management and explore the implications for policies. The needs and expectations will be assessed using surveys, and the results will be compared with the review of practice of EBFM that will be undertaken in WP2 and complementary datasets in WP8. The quantitative estimation of trade-offs will build on a bioeconomic modelling framework presented in Vondolia et al. (2020) based on the results of stock assessments (WP5). It will examine how management decisions affect human well-being, societies and economies through bioeconomic models integrating fisheries and ecosystems services, taking into account the effects of climate change (link to WP3 and WP4).


This task will conduct large-scale socio-economic surveys in Europe comprising detailed socio-economic questions on perceptions, preferences and expectations of the public for current and ecosystem-based fisheries management in Europe. We intend to generate a representative sample of individuals (e.g. by age, gender, region, education) living in countries with access to the: (a) Atlantic Ocean, (b) Mediterranean Sea and (c) Black Sea. The countries where the data collection will take place will be selected based on capacity to offer insights on comparability, cover and relevance. The survey will take place online (e.g. through the AmazonTech platform) and will generate panel data (longitudinal, or time series data) in at least one context aiming to assess causal effects. We will also collect complementary data as part of WP8 for comparison. The surveys will include food security, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), life satisfaction questions, and state-of-the-art stated preference modules to gauge the effects of ecosystem services on wellbeing and to estimate values of EBFM among the public. The sample sizes of the surveys will largely be determined by the populations of the proposed countries but will range between 200 and 500 respondents. Both closed-ended and open- ended questions will be used. In addition, Likert scales will be used to rank various perceptions relating to EBFM. The study will undergo a research ethics and data protection review through the University of Malta and data collection and processing will comply with the data protection (GDPR) and ethical considerations. Securing consent will be required as part of the surveys and approval will be a prerequisite for further participation in the survey. The data collected from the surveys will be securely held and no identifying data, nor special categories of data will be included in the questionnaires.

Duration: M1-M46 – Task Leader: UOM – Participants: IBER, IEO, EVILVO, CNR, SPNI, NIVA.

Sub-task 7.2.1. Index of fisheries profitability

With known fishing effort (feedback from WP4), profitability and status (feedback WP5) of current fisheries, a simple comparison between the profitability of any fisheries management scenario (feedback from WP6) can be obtained from the equilibrium curve of yield over effort. The mean net profit margin, which is net profit as a percentage of fishing income, will be estimated for all case studies and ecoregion based on official economic fisheries data and for all fisheries management scenarios that will be examined with the ecosystem models (feedback from WP6). Given the status of the stocks and fisheries exploitation pattern in each area, the future profit of the fleets in any stock rebuilding or management scenario will then be estimated and included in the EcoScope Toolbox.

Sub-task Duration: M13-M36 - Sub-task Leader: AUTH – Participants: IBER, GEOMAR, UBC, IOLR, IEO, EVILVO, NIVA

Sub-task 7.2.2. Human consumption and government subsidies

Based on the Sea Around Us catch and effort data, we will calculate the average value of catch that goes into human consumption, as well as the fate of the remaining catch per case study area and ecoregion. We will examine whether the legislation may work differently among European countries (Atlantic vs Mediterranean) and if the harvest control rules may apply horizontally in European Seas. Within this framework, we will evaluate the quality of the official reporting data per case study and ecoregion in terms of species aggregation (i.e., how much of the catch is identified to species level and how much is grouped to higher taxonomic level). We will also examine the implications of mis-reporting or over-aggregation of data for marine ecosystems, their structure and for vulnerable species (e.g. sharks and rays). Finally, using the Sea Around Us and Fisheries Economics Research Unit (participant 5 – UBC) dataset, we will calculate the landed value by flag state, fishing sector and catch type for European fisheries and we will contrast these data with the historical government/EC subsidies per country and fleet.

Sub-task Duration: M25-M42 - Sub-task Leader: UBC – Participants: AUTH, IBER, GEOMAR, IOLR, IEO, EVILVO, NIVA

The aim of task 7.2 is to provide quantitative estimates of future changes in marine ecosystems. The task will develop a theoretical bioeconomic model to assess implications of selected future changes (including fishing pressure and climate change) to be predicted in WP4 and WP6 based on the IPCC scenarios and datasets assembled in WP3. The theoretical model will use dynamic optimization to identify optimal ecosystem-based management requirements. It will integrate biological inter-relationships within an economic optimisation framework and will be used to conduct qualitative analyses to indicate consequences of changes in economic and ecological parameters from ecosystem-based fisheries management scenarios. The model will also be customized for selected fisheries from the case study areas to provide quantitative estimations of economic and ecological consequences and the implications of future changes in marine ecosystems from various driving forces including fisheries and climate change. The quantitative analysis will rely on secondary data collected from various fisheries databases in addition to climatic, oceanographic and fisheries data collected in WPs 3, 4, 5, 6 and will be uploaded in the EcoScopium public portal. Sensitivity analyses will be performed to assess uncertainties from parameters and conclusions. Results from the framework and application will be summarized in a policy brief.

Duration: M16-M44 – Task Leader: NIVA – Participants: AUTH, UBC, IEO, Hidromod, EMB, CNR, UOM, Thalassa.

The main objective of Task 7.4 is to assess the challenges of implementing EcoScope indicators that link economy to ecology and suggest measures to address these challenges. Specifically, we will compile all indicators related to economy and ecology to be used in the EcoScope Toolbox. Task 7.4 will team up with WP8 to discuss the challenges of implementing these indicators with stakeholder in a stakeholder workshop. Finally, we will adopt the framework and application in task 7.3 to estimate economic trade-offs in an ecosystem-based fisheries management context.

Duration: M28-M48– Task Leader: NIVA – Participants: AUTH, IEO, EMB, UOM, BUAS, PEAS.

Lead: NIVA | Duration: 48 months

D7.1 Report on descriptive and quantitative analyses from socioeconomic surveys

Type: reportDissemination: confidentialDue: M30

D7.2 Report on fisheries economics indicators

Type: reportDissemination: publicDue: M44

D7.3 Report on the integrated framework of future economic changes on ecosystem management

Type: reportDissemination: confidentialDue: M44

D7.4 Policy Brief on community preferences

Type: reportDissemination: publicDue: M46

D7.5 Report on discussing the economic and governance challenges of implementing Ecoscope indicators

Type: reportDissemination: confidentialDue: M46