Estimating Targeting Ability in Multi-Species Fisheries: A Primal Multi-Output Distance Function Approach

Sean Pascoe, Phoebe Koundouri and Trond Bjørndal


In this paper, we estimate a multi-output distance function for two North Sea fleet segments and derive output elasticities of substitution to examine the potential for changing catch composition though targeting fishing activity. We find that this ability differs between fleet segments, and also within fleet segments due to differences in vessel characteristics, with larger vessels appearing to be more able to influence their catch composition than smaller vessels. We argue that failure to quantify and integrate these technical interactions in the construction of management instruments for fisheries regulation may result in increased discarding and/or illegal fishing. (JEL Q22)