We know from economic theory that an unregulated fishery will cause excess capacity, over-fishing and low profitability. According to theory, a well managed fishery requires economic incentives that yield economic decisions which are environmentally sustainable. At present, Swedish fisheries are managed with a wide range of management tools regulating when and how fisheries are allowed, but the tools do only affect the economic incentives to a limited degree. Therefore, excess capacity may be a major problem in Sweden.
Capacity in Swedish pelagic fisheries is studied in this report. Pelagic vessels are primarily used for herring, sprat, mackerel, sand eel and blue whiting. The segment is the most important Swedish fishery measured both in terms of the landed volume and in terms of the value of the landings.
Results from the study show that the capacity in the pelagic segment is used to about 75 percent. This implies that costs are higher than necessary, which has a negative effect on profitability. Further, the analysis shows that larger vessels are more efficient than smaller ones.