This important report extends and tests the idea of societal choice by providing an economic analysis of fishing activities and the coastal economy.

 Marine Scotland – Executive summary   ‘It is generally accepted that fish stocks in Scottish waters are a national resource [1] and should be managed on behalf of all stakeholders. Despite the inherent complexity of the task, an economic evaluation of fisheries policy options must therefore endeavour to capture all stakeholder interests.

This study was tasked with evaluating a 0-1 nautical mile (NM) and a 0-3 NM restriction on the use of mobile gear. These two policy options will affect the wellbeing of very different stakeholders in multidimensional and complex ways. Initially the impact of mobile gear restrictions will be experienced in the commercial fishing sector. Those affected in this sector will include mobile and static gear operators and crew, the upstream and downstream links in the supply chain, and the local economies which benefit from the spending of all those involved in the commercial fisheries sector.

A significant proportion of the general public also needs to be included because they may have altruistic concerns for the marine environment (which here is termed General Public Non-User Value (GPNUV)). There are also marine recreational interests to be considered, among which there is probably a spectrum of sensitivity to changes in fish stocks. At one end, there are sea anglers and, to a lesser extent, marine divers whose recreational experience involves direct interaction with fish stocks. For others, such as ornithologists and marine wildlife tourists and charterers their enjoyment and participation is sensitive largely to changes in fish predator populations. At the other end of the spectrum, might be sea kayakers, sailors and informal visitors to coastal areas. For these participants, whilst the prospect of interaction with sea birds or sea mammals is not a necessary ingredient of their recreational experience, the increased probability of sightings might enhance their experience and possibly boost activity levels. Unfortunately existing knowledge and available data did not enable the analysis of marine recreation to extend beyond those who interact directly with fish stocks (ie anglers and divers). In some respects, Recreational Sea Angling (RSA) and Recreational Diving (RD) are proxy for all marine recreational activity.

This study embraces stakeholders by using both Net Economic Value / Cost Benefit Analysis (NEV/CBA) and Economic Impact Assessment (EIA) to provide an evaluation of the two policy options. In doing so, NEV/CBA and EIA estimates are produced separately for Scotland, the 6 Scottish Inshore Fishery Groups (IFGs) and Shetland.’ To read more go to:

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