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GEPETO is a project promoted by the members of the Southern Western Waters Regional Advisory Council (SWW RAC), to explore the effectiveness of new fisheries management models framed within the challenges of sustainability proposed by the new Common Fisheries Policy.

It has been demonstrated that unilateral fisheries management may be a wrong idea, given the mobility of resources and fleets, which makes transnational cooperation enabling a rational and sustainable development in fishing activities in the area of competence of SWW RAC, necessary.

On this basis GEPETO suggests a new way of working where professionals and scientists cooperate in the definition of a new fishing model based on the development of long term management plans, and where NGOs represent society as observers of their design and implementation.

Therefore data will be collected and reflected in a fisheries atlas in the area of competence of SWW RAC. Later, a few management units will be defined to finally be able to propose pilot management plans for those selected fisheries. All this work will be available on a web site that will also serve as a tool for the exchange of knowledge.

The main contribution of this project is the new commitment to cooperation among the countries of the SWW RAC (France, Spain and Portugal) and the support of the North Western Waters RAC (Ireland), as well as cooperation among all those involved in fisheries management, in a new experience of governance. The professionals of the sector will bring their knowledge and expectations, scientists their rigor and methodology and the NGO shall ensure the conservation of resources and sustainable development of fishing activities.

The project's main objectives are: draw up proposals for long term fisheries management; gain a common knowledge on fisheries management and develop a model of governance to optimize cooperation between the fisheries sector and scientists; give fisheries professionals the opportunity to develop proposals on the future of their profession; and finally, increase the knowledge of SWW RAC to strengthen its role as an advisory body to the EC.

The project supports a socio-economic approach to fisheries management in AA that integrates notions of business profitability and competitiveness. Such an approach is extremely innovative, and it should facilitate the improvement of economic efficiency of implemented policies, while maintaining the integrity of exploited fish stocks in the AA.

In addition, GEPETO will aim for a positive impact on the environment: the management method being tested allows for better economic and environmental sustainability.

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