Swedish Fishing in the Wake of ITQ

  • Madeleine Bonow
Part of the MARE Publication Series book series (MARE, volume 15)


In recent years, Sweden has managed its fisheries in line with the analysis made by the European Commission: overcapacity is persistent and only a few fleet segments have a level of income that can provide acceptable wages and scope for investment. An ITQ system was put in place in pelagic fisheries in the autumn of 2009. The chapter analyses the effects of the introduction of ITQ in Sweden. The introduction of the ITQs in the pelagic fishery led to a rationalization of the fleet, which, at first glance, has meant a more profitable pelagic fishery, with less black money (Wramner, Professor emeritus environmental science and former director of the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management. Interview, 2013 09 02, 2013) in the fishery. However, not all of the catch fisheries have been placed under ITQ, and this has produced unintended effects. First mover advantages and forms of concentration and expansion have been stimulated in a skewed fashion. The system is inflexible when it comes to making markets for by-catch, and hinders the recruitment of young fishers into the industry. It has also led to displacement of Swedish pelagic fishers into coastal demersal fishing or overseas fisheries, and to the sale of boats to owners who are now active in cod fishing or in the shrimp fishery. As a result, there is now overcapacity, poor profitability, and catch dumping in the Swedish shrimp fisheries and perhaps in Sweden’s Baltic Sea cod fishery.


Sweden ITQ Pelagic fisheries 



  1. Wramner Per (2013) Professor emeritus environmental science and former director of the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management. Interview 2013 09 02Google Scholar

Written Sources

  1. Alderton T, Winchester N (2002) Regulation, representation and the flag market. J Marit Res 4(1):89–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andersen P, Andersen JL, Frost H (2010) ITQs in Denmark and resource rent gains. Mar Resour Econ 25:11–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Annual Report on the Swedish Fishing Fleet (2012) Havs och vatten myndigheten
  4. Arnason R (2005) Property rights in fisheries: Iceland’s experience with ITQs. Rev Fish Biol Fish 15(3):243–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Arnason R (2008) Iceland’s ITQ system creates new wealth. Electron J Sustain Dev 1(2):35–41Google Scholar
  6. Chu C (2009) Thirty years later: the global growth of ITQs and their influence on stock status in marine fisheries. Fish 10:217–230Google Scholar
  7. Commission staff working document – Accompanying document to the Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament – A policy to reduce unwanted by-catches and eliminate discards in European fisheries – Impact assessment {COM(2007) 136 final} {SEC(2007) 381} COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIESGoogle Scholar
  8. Costello C, Gaines S, Lynham J (2008) Can catch shares prevent fisheries collapse? Science 321(5896):1678–1681CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Curtis H Carvalho N (2012) STECF Expert Working Groups on the Evaluation of Member States Annual Reports for 2011 (EWG 12-11 and EWG 12-21) This report was reviewed by the STECF during its 41st plenary meeting held from 5 to 9 November 2012 in Brussels, BelgiumGoogle Scholar
  10. Danish International Ship Register (
  11. DG MARE Lot 2 (2013) Retrospective and prospective evaluation on the common fisheries policy, excluding its international dimension Ref. No MARE/2011/01 Sweden Case Study Report for Retrospective Evaluation of Scrapping and Temporary Cessation Measures in the EFF Specific contract no.4 – SI2. 639813 August 2013Google Scholar
  12. Ds 2008:45, Överlåtbara fiskerättigheter Jordbruksdepartementet (Ds 2008:45, of transferable fishing rights Ministry of Agriculture) In SwedishGoogle Scholar
  13. Eliasen S, Svedrup-Jensen S, Holm P, Johnsen J-P (2009) Nordic experience of fisheries management: seen in relation to the reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy Nordic Council of Ministers, Copenhagen, Tema Nord 2009: 579Google Scholar
  14. European Commission (2009) Handbook on the practical application of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1005/2008 of 29 September 2008 establishing a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (The IUU Regulation)Google Scholar
  15. FiskeForum.COM ( (online retrived 20140204)
  16. Fiskeriverket (2007) Uppdrag angående ändrad reglering av det pelagiska fisket, Fiskeriverkets Dnr 10-957-07. (Mandate regarding the change in control of the pelagic fisheries), In SwedishGoogle Scholar
  17. Fleet Register On The Net European fishing fleet (
  18. Gibbs Mark T (2010) Why ITQ son target species are inefficient at achieving ecosystembased fisheries management outcomes. Mar Policy 34(2010):708–709CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Grafton RQ, McIlgorm A (2009) Ex ante evaluation of the costs and benefitsof individual transferable quotas: a case-study of seven Australian common wealth fisheries. Mar Policy 33(2009):714–719CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Havs -och vattenmyndigheten.
  21. Havs och vattenmyndigheten (2014) Effekterna av systemet med överlåtbara fiskerättigheter inom pelagiskt fiske. (The effects of the system of transferable fishing rights within the pelagic fishing) Rapport från ett regeringsuppdrag Havs och vattenmyndighetens rapport 2014-10-31, Göteborg: Havs- och vattenmyndighetenGoogle Scholar
  22. Højrup T (2012) The Danish Experience with Transferable Fishing Concessions./Højrup, Thomas.European Fisheries at a Tipping-Point. ed./Højrup Thomas; Schriewer Klaus. Murcia: Universidad de Murcia, 2012. pp 230–255.Google Scholar
  23. HVMFS 2014:19 Havs- och vattenmyndighetens föreskrifter om licens och tillstånd för yrkesmässigt fiske i havet; den 18 september 2014 (Marine and Water Authority’s regulations on licensing and permits for commercial fishing in the sea); in SwedishGoogle Scholar
  24. Isakson J, Richartz S, Bengtsson D (2013) Exporting exploitation How retired EU fishing vessels are devastating West African fish stocks and undermining the rights of local people
  25. JO 55 SM 1501 2014 Det yrkesmässiga fisket i havet Definitiva uppgifter(Swedish sea-fisheries during 2014. Definitive data JO 55 SM 1501) in SwedishGoogle Scholar
  26. Kvarnbäck M, Johansson M (2013) Småskaligt kustnära fiske i Bohuslän– en intervjustudie, (Smal-scale coastal fishing in Bohuslän an intervju studie) Fiskeområde Bohuslän
  27. Laurin F, Schmitdt L (2013) Tyst Territorium Sju reportage om Västsahara. AtlasGoogle Scholar
  28. Ministry of Agriculture (2009) Roving bandits in modern fisheries Swedish FAO Committee Publication series 5, February 2009Google Scholar
  29. Paulrud, A, Carvalho N, Borrello A (2014) Edited The 2014 Annual Economic Report on the EU Fishing Fleet (STECF 14-16) Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) EUR 26901 ENGoogle Scholar
  30. Regeringens proposition 2008/09:169 Överlåtbara fiskerättigheter (Government bill on transferable rights) (In Swedish)Google Scholar
  31. Regeringskansliet (2009) Redovisning av fiskeripolitiska insatser. Regeringens skrivelse 2009/10:187 (In Swedish)Google Scholar
  32. Stage J, Anna C, Patrik S (2015) Samhällsekonomisk utvärdering av havsmiljöarbete: Exemplet överlåtbara fiskerättigheter Havsmiljöinstitutets rapport nr 2015:5 Utgivningsdatum: 2015-07-10
  33. Svensk lag (2009:866) om överlåtbara fiskerättigheter. (Swedish Code of Statutes (2009:866) of transferable fishing rights)Google Scholar
  34. Swedish ship register 2012, 2013(
  35. Turris BR (2010) A rejoinder to E. Pinkerton et al. ‘The elephant in the room: The hidden costs of leasing individual transferable fishing quotas. Mar Policy 34(2010): 431–436Google Scholar
  36. Waldo S, Paulrud A (2013) ITQs in Swedish demersal fisheries ICES. J Mar Sci 70(1):68–77Google Scholar
  37. Waldo S, Berndt K, Hammarlund C, Lindegren M, Nilsson A, Persson A (2013) Swedish coastal herring fisheries in the wake of an ITQ system. Mar Policy 38(2013):321–324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. World Bank (2017) The Sunken Billions revisited: progress and challenges in Global Marine Fisheries. World Bank. Environment and Sustainable Development Series, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1596/978-1-4648-0919-4. License: Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 3.0 IGO

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Natural Science, Technology and Environmental StudiesSödertörns HögskolaStockholmSweden

Personalised recommendations