SeaSurf: Multi-species dynamics above and beneath the sea-surface (completed)

About the project

It is essential to account for multi-species dynamics if we want to manage marine resources efficiently and sustainably. Multi-species interactions exist both above and beneath the sea-surface, and the fishermen's catch and landings decisions link what happens in the market, above the sea-surface, with what happens in the waters below the surface.

For example, cod and haddock products are to some degree interchangeable in the market (above the sea-surface), while the two species are competitors beneath the sea surface. The fishermen's decisions of how much to catch of each species, where to land, and when will affect both the biological stock development and the markets. These markets and stock developments will in turn affect the behavior of fishermen. Regulation that ignore such feedbacks may lead to unwanted outcomes.

The research project analyzes the interplay between the behavioral, market, the biological dimensions of the fisheries system and the regulatory system in several ways. First, we undertake a statistical analysis of landing tickets and related vessel-level data to describe fishermen behavior, which we complement by a game-theoretical analysis of underlying incentives. Second, we focus on the multi-species dynamics beneath the sea-surface
and investigate how using economic information would inform biological stock projections and the debate on "balanced harvesting."

Third, we use new ways to analyze the interplay between regulations and fishermen's
incentives, and we uncover people's basic behavioral preferences using economic experiments in which individuals face real trade-offs between monetary payoffs. Finally, we conclude the project by unifying the lessons learned into policy advice


The primary objective is to provide valuable insights for integrated management and to contribute to the international scientific literature by taking a holistic perspective on the multi-species interactions that shape the complex Norwegian fisheries. We will achieve this goal by completing secondary objectives:

1. Obtain better understanding of multi-species interactions above the sea-surface by analyzing landing tickets and modeling fishermen-buyer relations.

2. Explore feedbacks between fishermen's catch and landings decisions and multi-species interactions beneath the sea-surface.

3. Complement our understanding of fishermen's behavior by conducting economic experiments and modeling fishermen's relation with the regulatory environment.

4. Develop a unified theoretical framework that spans objective 1-3 and provide a synthesis of the lessons learned in form of public outreach.


This Project is funded by the Research Council of Norway (RCN) (MARINFORSK) programme RCN Project Number: 243892 (Project data bank at RCN)

UiO Project Number: 421129


01.01.2015 - 30.06.2019

Published Mar. 25, 2021 12:53 PM - Last modified Mar. 25, 2021 1:58 PM