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Journal of Ocean and Coastal Economics

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Abstract

The European eel stock is endangered. The European Union has, therefore, introduced strict policies to try to reverse the eel’s decline and reduce the threats to its survival. However, the European Union’s eel management policy has been implemented on a ‘one-size-fits-all’ basis, where all the affected countries have been given nearly identical targets, regardless of either the individual country’s costs for reducing damages to eels or its importance for the overall eel stock. In this paper, we draw on data from the different national eel management plans as well as from independent studies to compare the cost of measures to reduce eel mortality imposed in different countries. We compare the overall costs to those that could have been incurred with a union-wide, rather than fragmented, abatement program, and find that such a comprehensive management program would have been substantially cheaper and would have affected poorer member countries less.

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