In the framework of a study for the European Commission on 'Measuring Capacity in Fishing Industries using the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) Approach,' the methodology was applied to a substantial sample of the Dutch beam trawler fleet. Beam trawling for flatfish is the main occupation of the Dutch skipper-owned fishing fleet. Using three input factors and four output variables, individual and average capacity utilisation (CU) scores (extent to which available capacity is made productive) were estimated, followed by estimates of capacity output (maximum production with available capacity) and technically efficient output (production with technically efficient use of available capacity). In a secondary stage analysis, a number of environmental factors were identified that significantly influence CU scores. An industry analysis showed that the same level of output could be achieved with a 12% smaller fleet. All in all, the beam trawler fleet appears to operate quite efficiently.
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