Small-scale fisheries in the Netherlands: fishing on the margin

Marloes Kraan*, Fenna Hoefsloot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This chapter focuses on the small-scale fisheries sector in the Netherlands. This sector operates on the margin of the Dutch fishing fleet, which is dominated by larger-scale fisheries. The gillnet-, handline-, small trawl- and fyke fishers make only a small contribution to total landings and revenue. The Dutch government has not formulated a specific small-scale fisheries policy, resulting in unintended consequences for small-scale fishers. The fact that a clear definition of what small-scale fisheries in the Netherlands entails is non-existent, combined with the ‘rest-category’ approach in data collection, contributes to the marginality of the sector. Nevertheless, small-scale fisheries in the Netherlands do take place, with almost 500 fishers active in more than 200 vessels. It is a varied, flexible and culturally embedded sector that is important, especially in the Zeeland Delta and the Wadden Sea. The chapter describes this sub-sector in relation to the rest of the fishing sector and investigates how institutional arrangements and market developments impact small-scale fishers using the Dutch ITQ system as an example. It subsequently investigates the possible impacts of ongoing developments (Brexit, pulse fishing, wind parks, the landing obligation and the trend of consolidation). The authors argue that a reassessment of the value of small-scale fisheries in the Netherlands is required in the light of environmental and social challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSmall-Scale Fisheries in Europe: Status, Resilience and Governance
EditorsJosé J. Pascual-Fernández, Cristina Pita, Maarten Bavinck
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-37371-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-37370-2
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameMARE Publication Series
ISSN (Print)2212-6260
ISSN (Electronic)2212-6279


  • ITC-CV
  • Small-scale fisheries
  • The Netherlands
  • Tourism
  • Landing obligation
  • ITQ

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