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Can Collaboration Lead to More Sustainably Fished Seas?

11 June 2014

SPAIN - Is working with others and taking responsibility the simple solution to sustainable fishing? The GAP2 project answers an emphatic ‘yes’ to this question with the release of a striking new six minute feature film, showcasing the project’s work on bringing together fishers, scientists and policy makers in fisheries across Europe.

Focused upon one of 13 GAP2 research case studies, the video, ‘Bridging the Gap’, follows Norwegian anthropologist, Maiken Bjørkan, as she introduces the collaborative co-management of the Mediterranean Red Shrimp fishery in Palamós, Spain.

Featuring interviews with local fisherman and Skipper of the Nova Gasela, Conrad Massaguer, and Catalán regional policy maker Rosario Allue, the short film explores the successful development of a regional management plan for the valuable red shrimp fishery – a plan endorsed and commended by the regional government.

The video shows how the ‘bottom-up’ process used to develop the long-term management plan has laid the foundations for success: involving the fishing community in all stages of the design and implementation of measures to improve sustainability. A strong relationship between scientists and fishers in the Palamós fishery and the investment of the regional administration in the management planning process have both contributed to Palamós’ success. Catalán Chief of Service for Marine Resources, Rosario Allue, even has her own set of fisher’s galoshes, and can be seen in the film inspecting and sorting the catch alongside Conrad’s crew.

Ms Allue commented: “I started working with the GAP2 project four or five years ago. They had reached a level of collaborative working and mutual understanding, and the regional government here couldn’t remain at the margins”

The message of ‘Bridging the Gap’ – that collaboration between fishers, scientists and policy makers is not only possible, but can lead to fruitful long-term working partnerships – reflects the findings of a four year international research project – GAP2– funded by the European Commission, investigating the value of fishermen, scientists and other stakeholders working together to better understand fisheries management for long-term sustainability.

The film demonstrates how collaboration between the ‘holy trinity’ of partners required to develop and implement a fishery management plan is considered essential to sustainable fisheries management, by the people involved.

TheFishSite News Desk

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