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Quantifying Fishers' And Citizens' Support For Dutch Flatfish Management Policy

Rolf A. Groeneveld

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Abstract Groeneveld, R. A. 2011. Quantifying fishers' and citizens' support for Dutch flatfish management policy. – ICES Journal of Marine Science, 68: 919–928. Fisheries policy is most effective when supported by fishers and the general public. Dutch citizens' and fishers' support for a selection of policy alternatives to enhance the sustainability of the Dutch North Sea cutter fleet is estimated, and the same groups' support for policy alternatives is expressed in monetary terms. A stated-choice survey was held among a representative sample of the Dutch population to assess their average willingness to pay for a selection of policy objectives, and among Dutch flatfish fishers to estimate their willingness to accept a selection of policy measures. The results indicate that citizens are most concerned about the impact of beam trawling on benthic megafauna, because they are on average willing to pay €21.46 per year to reduce the impact, but reducing fishing pressure in the plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) spawning period and restoring spawning-stock biomass of plaice and sole (Solea solea) to the levels of maximum sustainable yield are also supported. Fishers seem to support enhanced fines for the use of illegal fishing gear, but they are most opposed to increasing the minimum landing size of sole.