UK - An innovative publication for policy makers and stakeholders in the fishing community is being launched at an event hosted by the University of Greenwich today (3 September).
The 21st Century Catch Toolkit has been developed by the GIFS (Geography of Inshore Fishing and Sustainability) project team.
Project leader Dr Tim Acott, an environmental geographer at the university, is a lead author of the toolkit. Mr Acott commented: “This has been developed for anyone interested in the way that inshore fishing is valued economically, socially, culturally and environmentally, and its role for sustainable community development.
“It is intended to both support and inform decision-making but also to help communities take practical steps in valuing their local inshore fleet.”
The toolkit includes an analysis of the contribution of inshore fishing to regional economies, and photographic exhibitions highlighting the diverse cultural landscapes of fishing. Other topics include best practice in local governance of inshore fisheries, how to develop fisher-led educational materials, how inshore fishing contributes to a sense of place and the role of women in fishing communities.
Dr Julie Urquhart of the University of Greenwich is one of the lead authors, and is also editor of the toolkit. She adds: “Alongside food provision and contributing economically to coastal communities, inshore fishing also provides a range of broad social and cultural values and benefits, such as cultural heritage, community identity and social cohesion. We believe that the more people understand about the special nature and importance of inshore fishing, the more they will want to sustain it, securing the livelihoods and way of life of our diverse coastal fishing communities.”
The toolkit is available free of charge as an online resource or in print. It can be downloaded or ordered via the GIFS website at www.gifsproject.eu.
GIFS, a €4.6 million project, to help regenerate coastal fishing communities in England and France, ran from December 2011 to September 2014. It is a partnership of six institutions across Europe led by the University of Greenwich and includes the University of Brighton, Agrocampus Ouest, University of Brest, Flanders Marine Institute and the Municipality of Middelburg. The geographical scope of the project includes the coastal areas of southern and eastern England, northern France, Belgium and the southern Netherlands.
The launch event takes place at the Devonport House Hotel in Greenwich, and includes a chance to hear more about how the toolkit was created and the activities of the GIFS team over the past three years.
TheFishSite News Desk