In this paper, EU Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data is combined with other site and vessel information and used to model the fishing site choice decision of Irish demersal otter trawlers. Uniquely, the fishing ground options used in the analysis reflect the actual seabed contours trawled by the fleet. The fishing site choice model, based on this natural site definition is compared to an alternative destination choice model where the fleet decision is specified using a grid based site definition as employed in previous work. It is argued that the natural site specification is a more realistic specification of the fisher site choice decision. Using the preferred natural fishing site choice model, a policy option involving the hypothetical closure of one of the fishing ground options is then simulated to examine the possible redistribution of fishing effort.


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