Challenging quota market efficiencies: A case-study of Scotland (United Kingdom)

Helen Cross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)


Exploring fisheries access through the lens of market-based policies, this study investigates complexities surrounding the temporary accumulation or dispensation of quota units, which define rights to land catch in UK commercial sea-fishing. The study examines quota transaction behaviours from Scotland’s ten industry membership groups, known as Producer Organisations (POs), by analysing their annual ‘Production and Marketing Plans’. Integrating data from the government Fixed-Quota Allocation (FQA) database, and official ‘quota-use’ records, the analysis pieces together previously ‘unknown knowledge’ surrounding quota exchanges, in the UK offshore pelagic and whitefish sectors. Leasing and barter transactions are pervasive among those with access to quota, although a core-group of POs dominate pelagic opportunity. These dynamics suggest consolidation to a point of inefficiency, given the dependence of marginal POs in Scotland's rural areas upon marine fisheries capture and processing. Inclusive participatory scenario-modelling techniques may now offer equitable options, in a new era of fisheries management.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104384
JournalMarine Policy
Early online date19 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Fixed Quota Allocation (FQA)
  • Lease quota
  • Market efficiencies
  • Producer Organisation (PO)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • General Environmental Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Law


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