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Fisheries management

Fisheries management needs to be based on a broad-ranging definition of sustainable development and a series of basic principles related to that concept, since it must strive to comply with the requirements for ensuring that the marine environment remains in good condition. Nevertheless, this management requires the development of fairly complex models, in order to achieve the target set by the new reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, namely to guarantee Maximum Sustainable Yield. The EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive establishes the aim of defining and assessing the sustainable development of each maritime sector or activity that uses the marine environment, from the perspective of ecosystemic management, i.e. integrated management that also imposes the need to develop management environments and models that are very different from the more traditional models and operating techniques currently in use. Furthermore, fisheries management models should incorporate the knowledge provided by the fishermen themselves, as well as the incentives associated with the management measures introduced into the fishing industry in the form of different governance formulas. Thus, we can talk about the traditional top-down system, co-management or shared governance systems and self-management. Other aspects are also explored within the framework of fisheries management, including regionalisation and compliance with the obligatory landing sizes established by the new Common Fisheries Policy.


Maximising yield of fisheries while balancing ecosystem, economic and social concerns (MYFISH).

Aim of the project: To develop new Maximum Sustainable Yield indicators that can ensure high levels of fishery yield while respecting ecological, economic and social sustainability thus contributing to achieve the Good Environmental Status (GES) foreseen in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).

Funding:European Union (FP7, Cooperation, Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology) and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Department of the Basque Government (2012-16).

Partners: MI, HCMR, PML, LEI, DTU Aqua, Aqua TT, IFREMER, IoES, KTU, CEFAS, UHAM,, PML, MI , AZTI-Tecnalia, CL, KFO, kutterfish, LF,VOF, WBV, Man, Karbak, QUB, IEO, UVIGO, JRC.

Socio economic effect of management measures of the future (SOCIOEC).

Aim of the project: To perform a comprehensive analysis of the wide range of current and emerging management measures in the current Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). It will develop possible new future measures to be introduced in order to achieve a more profitable and efficient fishing sector that provides sustainable employment, support society’s aims, and contributes to societal well being. SOCIOEC specifically targets the failures of the CFP and works with the people involved in fisheries to prevent future failures.

Funding: European Union (FP7, FP7-KBBE-2011-5) the Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Department of the Basque Government (2012-14).

Partners: Vti, AAU, UCPH, LEI, DTU Aqua, HCMR, Aqua TT, IFREMER, IREPA, IoES, KTU, CEMARE, NUIG, UBO, CAU, MI , AZTI-Tecnalia, JRC, PMA, kutterfish, LF, MARINE LAW, NISSEN, CsC, Aquafarm.

Sustainable Development of the Artisanal fisheries in the Atlantic Area (PRESPO).

Aim of the project: To improve the current fisheries management policy of common fishing resources in the Atlantic Area that are exploited by the artisanal fleet, through the development of alternative tools towards to an integrate management of coastal fisheries. The project will contribute to the organization of costal fisheries and for the promotion of their sustainability, with positive repercussions at social-economic level, in particular through the maintenance of jobs in the fisheries sector, as well as in its associated industries.

Funding: INTERREG Atlantic Area and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Department of the Basque Government (2009-2011).


Mitigating adverse ecological impacts of open ocean fisheries (MADE).

Aim of the project: To propose measures to mitigate adverse impacts of fisheries targeting large pelagic fish in the open ocean. Focusing on tropical tuna purse seiners using fish aggregating devices FADs and pelagic longliners, the goal will be achieved through the development of appropriate knowledge on the behavioural ecology of species, as well as on the fisheries themselves.

Funding:European Union (FP7) and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Department of the Basque Government (2008-11).

Partners: IRD, Seychelles Fishing Authorities, Université libre de Bruxelles, Aquastudio, AZTI-Tecnalia, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, IFREMER, Université de la Reunión, Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Université de Montpellier, University of Patras, Fondazione Aqcuario di Genova Onlus, IMAR.

Costs and Benefits of Control Strategies (COBECOS).

Aim of the project: COBECOS conducted what amounts to a cost-benefit analysis of control schemes for management strategies relevant to the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Funding: European Union (FP5) and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Department of the Basque Government (2007-09).

Partners: Institute of Economic Studies University of Iceland, AZTI-Tecnalia, JRC, CEDEM, IREPA, USD, FOI, NHH, LEI, CEFAS, CEMARE, IC.

Comparative evolutions of innovative solutions in European fisheries management (CEVIS).

Aim of the project: To develop and evaluate four fisheries management innovations being considered for Europe: participatory approaches; rights-based regimes; effort control; and decision-rule systems, in order to facilitate the implementation of a more adaptive and ecosystem based approach in fisheries management, according to the objectives of the European common fisheries policy (CFP).

Funding: European Union and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Department of the Basque Government (2006-09).


Operational evaluation tools for fisheries management options (EFIMAS).

Aim of the project: To develop a set of new tools that can simulate and evaluate both the biological, social and economical consequences of a range of fishery management options and objectives in order to facilitate the development of better fisheries management regimes. The EFIMAS project will develop software tools and simulation models that can predict and compare the outcomes of different management options on European fish stocks and fisheries.

Funding: European Union (FP6, FP62002 SSP-1) and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Department of the Basque Government (2004-07).

Partners: DTU Aqua, CEFAS, IMARES, IFREMER, FRS, FGFRI, ILVO, IPIMAR, HCMR (Athens and Cretan branches), Marine Institute (Ireland), Institute of Marine Research (Norway), Institute of Marine Research, National Board of Fisheries (Sweden), Institute of Freshwater Research, National Board of Fisheries (Sweden), SFI, AZTI-Tecnalia, AAU, CEMARE, LEI, UCPH, Institute for Research in Economics and Business Administration (Norway), IREPA, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, CSIC, Spain, Universitat de Barcelona, Universidad de País Vasco (UPV/EHU), Universidad Pablo de Olavide, University of Helsinki, University of Newcastle.

European Lifestyles and the Marine Environment (ELME).

Aim of the project: To study the relationship between the rapidly changing European lifestyles and the deteriorating environment of Europe's regional seas, the Baltic, Black Sea, Mediterranean and North East Atlantic. Its findings enable a process of horizon scanning to look at the potential future state of the seas for the next 20-30 years under a number of development scenarios. ELME is designed to provide the best available scientific information for predicting the likely impacts of major economic, social and institutional changes within Europe on marine ecosystems. The health of marine ecosystems represents an ‘end indicator’ of human environmental impacts and of our ability to achieve sustainable development. Achievement of the overall objective requires a highly multidisciplinary approach integrating relevant information on: the current major state changes affecting Europe’s marine ecosystems in four major sea areas; the pressures (anthropogenic and from natural variability) on the environment producing these state changes; the underlying social and economic drivers that lead to these pressures; and he plausible scenarios for social and economic change across Europe during the next two decades.

Funding: European Union Sixth Framework Programme (Contract GOCE-CT-2003-505576).

Partners: 28 instituciones de 14 países, entre ellas el Instituto de Economía Pública, bajo la dirección del profesor Laurence Mee de la Universidad de Plymouth.

Technical developments and tactical adaptations of important EU fleets (TECTAC).

Aim of the project: The overall objective of TECTAC is to supply fisheries managers with a modeling tool that will allow them evaluating the impact of regulations on the dynamics of fleets and fishing mortality. The carrying Idea of this project is the investigation of the dynamics of the elements that cause fleet dynamics: the technological advances in both gears and vessel equipment, and also the overall tactical adaptation of fishing vessels. How do they occur? Why do they occur? What are their consequences on the resource and their socio-economics?

Funding: European Union (FP5, QLK5-2001-01291) and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Department of the Basque Government (2002-04).

Partners: IFREMER, UBC, DTU Aqua, LEI , AZTI-Tecnalia, CEFAS, U. VIgo, U. Portsmouth.


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