Development and application of a computable general equilibrium model to analyse the contribution of fisheries and aquaculture activities to regional development

Sponsor: EU
Duration: 2002-2005


Pierre Failler
Christos Floros


The main intent of this project was to develop a model that took into account the contribution made by fisheries and aquaculture (and associated activities) to the development of coastal regions and the interrelations between these activities and components of other economic sectors of the region in question.

The exercise was part of a larger scheme that aimed to make available to public policy decision-makers, and even to society, tools and models intended to help in decision-making (and in particular in taking the appropriate decisions with respect to the structural measures relating to the fishing sector). As such, this project was directed not only at theoretical developments, but also at the translation of these developments into practically applicable tools (albeit not the creation of a ready-made toolkit).

Standard models that measure the economic effects of fisheries activities on other sectors of a regional economy essentially consist of scaled-down versions of input/output (I/O) matrices constructed on a national scale. This approach has been used on several occasions in the context of studies at the European level (in particular the EU-sponsored socio-economic studies relating to regions dependent on fishing of 1992 and 1999). One advantage of this method resides in its highly transparent mechanical procedure, which makes it easy to reproduce once a certain number of basic data are known. Their simplicity, however, is countered by their limitations with respect to their ability to reproduce an image of the economic quality of life of a region dependent on fishing. Albeit acknowledged, these limitations are not well known. This project, therefore, undertook an examination of the potential of the I/O model to reproduce the reality of coastal regions, which are highly different and contrasting as the European littoral illustrates.

The starting point for this project was the existing body of work (i.e. the I/O model and its application in the socio-economic studies of 1992 and 1999) and the use of five case study regions in Europe dependent on fishing. The modelling in this project, however, went further than previous work. A key aim of the project was to improve the incorporation of qualitative and quantitative factors into ecological and biological analyses, culminating in the development of a model taking account of :

  • the complexity and specificity of each region in terms of fishing and aquaculture
  • the specificity of the resources exploited and of their natural environment
  • its multidisciplinary in nature.

The triptych marine environment- fisheries and aquaculture activities - regional development was at the heart of the project, combining life sciences with social sciences. The multidisciplinary formulation of the project was designed to facilitate an improved comprehension of situations typically oversimplified by the use of algebra.


The measurable objectives of the project can be summarized as follows:

  • To develop an in-depth debate on the objectives of models measuring regional effects (particularly I/O models) and their capacity to take account of the reality of economic development effects and of the interrelations between activities, through theoretical considerations and the experiences of previous applications.
  • To construct, on the basis of the conclusions drawn from the first phase, a model that comes closer to reality and hence is more efficient. The computable general equilibrium model (CGEM) in this respect offered the greatest potential for application to the domain of the regional economy.
  • To calibrate and apply the CGEM to 5 European regions (level NUTS 3) selected as case studies and studied in detail during the previous economic study (1999), to test its ability to reproduce the effects of fishing and aquaculture and to compare it with the I/O model.
  • To validate the model and to define the prospects for its generic utilisation.
  • To make the model accessible to public decision-makers, at both European Community, national and regional levels.
Work programme

The work programme for the PECHDEV project was organised into 4 work modules:

WP1: Explored the relevance of the various tools and models available and used in past evaluations; and consulted with public policy decision-makers on the objectives of the evaluation of fisheries and aquaculture's contribution to regional development:
WP 2: The development of the regional computable general equilibrium model as applied to the fishing and aquaculture sector:
WP 3: Calibration and application of the CGEM to five European regions:
WP 4: Conceptualisation of a tool to ensure the wide distribution of the CGEM and descriptions of the working methods used in case studies


The publications listed below are those publicly available from the PECHDEV project.

Case Studies

Summary presentation of the case study regions (PDF, 60.3 KB)
No.1 Cornwall (PDF, 1.74 MB)
No.2 Salerno (PDF, 773 KB)
No.3 Pontevedra (PDF, 905 KB)
No.4 Finistere (PDF, 682 KB)
No.5 Bornholm (PDF, 633 KB)
No.6 Salerno (PDF, 4.02 MB)
No.7 Finistere (PDF, 774 KB)
No.8 Finistere (PDF, 553 KB)
No.9 Finistere (PDF, 1.01 MB)
No.10 Cornwall (PDF, 592 KB)
No.11 Galicia (PDF, 866 KB)
No.12 Bornholm (PDF, 516 KB)

Conference Papers


  • Report No. 1: Assessment Method Reviews; Economics, Ecology and Biology Frameworks; Regional expectancies; Case Study Presentations (PDF, 5.48 MB)
  • Report No. 2: Static CGEM, biological model and SAM presentations (PDF, 15.2 MB)

Working Papers

WP No. 1: A review of models used to assess the contribution of the fishing sector to the regional and national development (PDF, 573 KB)
WP No. 2: A review of the multi-sectoral models used in the last 10 years to analyse the effects of the EU Common Policies (PDF, 676 KB)
WP No. 3: Combining the Multisector CGE approach, the share approach and the bioeconomic CGE approaches for analysis of local economy adjustments (PDF, 774 KB)
WP No. 4: A computable General Equilibrium Model presentation (PDF, 620 KB)
WP No. 5: Economics, ecology and biology frameworks (PDF, 1.59 MB)
WP No. 6: A synthesis of questionnaire answers for the 5 regions studied: Cornwall, Salerno, Finistère, Ponte vedra, Bornholm (PDF, 1.09 MB)
WP No. 7: Application of a static CGE model to the fishing industry in Salerno (Italy) (PDF, 1.03 MB)
WP No. 8: Modelling biological production functions and regional production (PDF, 1.37 MB)
WP No. 9: A technical note on the consequences of changing the production specification in the CGEM from Shaefer to Pella and Tomlinson (PDF, 535 KB)
WP No. 10: A Social Accounting Matrix for local fishery assessment (LF-SAM) (PDF, 3.32 MB)
WP No. 11: The social accounting matrix for the Galician fishing sector: what do we learn from it? (PDF, 2.09 MB)
WP No. 12: Regional income generation and fisheries sector linkages in a Danish region (PDF, 1.37 MB)
WP No 13: Biological production functions in the PECHDEV project. An overview. Assumptions, choices and constraints (PDF, 264 KB)
cemare-publications-pdf-general equilibrium model-wp 14 WP No. 14 : Fishing fleets selection. Synthesis for the 5 regions (PDF,  511 KB)
cemare-publications-pdf-general equilibrium model-wp 15 WP No 15: Description of ecological factors to be considered: the Salerno case (PDF,  218 KB)

  • CEMARE, University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom (Pierre Failler, Christos Floros)
  • University College London, London, United Kingdom (Sophie des Clers)
  • Ecole Nationale Supérieure, Agronomique de Rennes, ENSAR, Rennes, France (Didier Gascuel, Carole Ropars, Emmanuel Chassot, Arnaud Nadon)
  • Université de Nantes Chemin de la Censive du Tertre, Nantes, France (Pascal Bernard)
  • Istituto Ricerche Economiche per la Pesca e l'Aquacoltura, Salerno, Italy (Vicenzo Placenti, Loretta Malvarosa)
  • Institute of Publics Economics, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain (Maria Carmen Gallastegui, Javier Fernandez Macho, Pilar Gonzalez)
  • IME-SDU, University of Southern Denmark, Esbjerg, Denmark (Eva Roth, Heine Ruppert, Henning Jøgensen)


For further information on the project, please contact:

Pierre Failler (Project Coordinator)
E-mail: pierre.failler@port.ac.uk