Scrapping programmes and individual transferable quotas (ITQs) are two management measures frequently used to reduce overcapacity in fisheries. These measures are often aimed at specific vessel segments targeting specific fish stocks. In this case, fishermen who scrap their vessels or sell their quotas may shift their fishing activities, possibly contributing to overcapacity in other fleets. The aim of this paper is to provide some insights on this issue based on a Swedish scrapping programme for trawlers targeting cod and Norwegian lobster and the introduction of an ITQ system for pelagic vessels introduced in 2008 and 2009.
Individual-level data on fishing activities and income from other industries are used to examine how effort and catches have changed after 2009, and to what extent fishermen have left the fishing industry. The lesson learnt from the Swedish case is that fishermen tend to stay in the fishing sector, and this holds true for both participants in the scrapping programme and fishermen who sold their quota in the ITQ system. Therefore measures to reduce overcapacity in targeted fleets have increased fishing pressure and competition for quotas in the Swedish small-scale fleet.