What is EcoFishMan?

EcoFishMan is a project that aims to develop and contribute to the implementation of a new integrated fisheries management system in Europe based on increased stakeholder involvement. An ecosystem-based sustainable management system under a precautionary framework that will define maximum acceptable negative impact, target elimination of discards, and maintain economic and social viability.

Project description
The aim of European Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is to ensure sustainable utilisation of fish stocks in European waters. The main instruments of the policy are fish quotas based on surveillance of the stocks and closure of fishing grounds. As much as 88% of European Community fish stocks are being fished beyond Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) and 30% of them are outside safe biological limits, which mean that they may not be able to replenish. The practice of discarding in Community fisheries is one of the biggest problems facing European fisheries: affected stocks are for example the North Sea cod off which 93% is fished before it can breed and 30%-55% of the catch is discarded at sea.

The EcoFishMan project has 13 partners representing four fisheries management policies in Europe (The Icelandic demersal mixed fishery; The Portuguese crustacean bottom trawl fishery; The North Sea mixed demersal bottom trawl fishery; The Mediterranean mixed demersal trawl fishery). It consists of nine RTD organisations (MATIS, CETMAR, UI, CNR, NOFIMA, UiT, CCMAR, IPIMAR & MSS), two SMEs (BIT & MAPIX), one International organisation (EUROFISH) and one Non Departmental Public Body (SEAFISH).

The aim of EcoFishMan is to develop and contribute to implementation of a new integrated fisheries management system in Europe based on increased stakeholder involvement: An ecosystem-based sustainable management system under a precautionary framework that will define maximum acceptable negative impact, target elimination of discards and maintain economic and social viability.

The outcome of this project will be a fisheries management system, developed in collaboration with the important stakeholders in fisheries. The design of the system will take into account ecological, economical and social factors. It will be based on the requirements of the stakeholders themselves and utilise modern technology for surveillance, assessment of stocks and decision supports. This will enhance implementation of the system and improve cooperation and mutual understanding between policy makers and stakeholders.