# Bioeconomic modelling of seal impacts on West of Scotland fisheries Vanessa Trijoulet, 1 st year PhD student – website:

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Bioeconomic modelling of seal impacts on West of Scotland fisheries Vanessa Trijoulet, 1 st year PhD student – vanessa.trijoulet@strath.ac.uk, website: http://www.strath.ac.uk/mathstat/staff/researchstudents/vanessatrijoulet/ Materials and methods Bioeconomic modelling of seal impacts on West of Scotland fisheries Vanessa Trijoulet 1, Alex Dickson 2 and Robin Cook 1 1 Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland – vanessa.trijoulet@strath.ac.uk 2 Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland Introduction In the north Atlantic Ocean, the 20th century has been marked by a change in fish stocks resulting in the depletion of high value commercial fish such as the Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) (ICES 2012). Meanwhile, scientists have noticed an increase in the grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) population (SCOS 2012). This situation has created a significant conflict between fishermen and conservationists as regards to the role that grey seals may have played in the stock depletion. This is all the more intensified by the fact that fishermen see their costs increase due to seal damage to gear or fish. Currently, opinions remain divided, and it seems that further studies need to be done to measure the impact of seals on fisheries and to propose future seal and fishery management strategies. Objectives Create a bioeconomic model able to quantify the economic impact of grey seal predation on West of Scotland cod, haddock and whiting fisheries. 1/2 Economic model Multispecies: cod, haddock, whiting Multifleet: Types: bottom trawlers (OTB), others Mesh-sizes: TR1 (>=100mm), TR2 (70-99mm) Boat lengths: =24m Age-structured model Z = F + M + Mseal Impact of seal predation on commercial fish stocks Economic impact of seal predation on fisheries Effort function Variation in fleets effort according to fishermen profits Cost function Total costs = fixed costs + variable costs(effort) Profit function Present value of profits discounted back to the present Biological model Objectives Create a bioeconomic model able to quantify the economic impact of grey seal predation on West of Scotland cod, haddock and whiting fisheries. West of Scotland ICES VIa

2/2 Preliminary results for cod Simulations from year 2012 with test of 4 levels of seal population (S) and of fishing mortality (F), S and F constant for the whole simulation period: - S=0 (Mseal=0), S=32,000 (SCOS 2012), S=16,000 (S/2) and S=64,000 (S*2) - F=ICES 2012, F-30% and F+30% Conclusions Omitting seal predation in fish assessment can significantly change the response of the stock to changes in F. Necessity to decrease F or collapse in 50 years. Halving seal population cannot prevent cod collapse if F stays constant or increases. TR1 fleets (mesh-size >100 mm) are the most impacted by seal predation since they represent 70 to 80 % of cod catches in VIa. Following ICES assessment condition (Mseal=0), a decrease of 30% in F can induce cod recovery, which is not the case when Mseal is taken into account (decrease in SSB of 90% after 60 years). Future directions Develop the biological model for haddock and whiting. Develop the economic model to assess the impact of seal on fishery profits including fishermen behaviours. Test management propositions. Acknowledgements We thank the University of Strathclyde and Marine Scotland for funding this project. We also thank the Sea Mammal Research Unit (University of St Andrews) for making the data on grey seal diet available. Collapse even if S/2 S*2 has almost the same consequence as F+30% (collapse in 30 years) TR1 fleets are the most impacted by the number of seals Scenarios Expected change in SSB after 60 years Time before collapse (years) S=0, F=2012-58.37% S=0, F=-30%+870.64% S=0, F=+30%-99.83%70 S/2, F=2012-99.08%98 S/2, F=-30%+109.79% S/2, F=+30%-100.00%44 S=2012, F=2012-99.98%53 S=2012, F=-30%-90.36% S=2012, F=+30%-100.00%32 S*2, F=2012-100.00%28 S*2, F=-30%-100.00%44 S*2, F=+30%-100.00%21 S=0, F=ICES 2012S=32,000, F=ICES 2012 Taking into account seal predation in fish assessment is important Mean 50% CI Median Bioeconomic modelling of seal impacts on West of Scotland fisheries Vanessa Trijoulet, 1 st year PhD student – vanessa.trijoulet@strath.ac.uk, website: http://www.strath.ac.uk/mathstat/staff/researchstudents/vanessatrijoulet/ 2/2 If seal population stays stable, the cod stock will collapse in 50 years

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