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PRESPO

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

  

The Project PRESPO is integrated in the Priority 2 of the Programme “Protect, secure and enhance the marine and coastal environment sustainability”, specifically in the Objective 2.2 “Sustainable management and protection of the resources of marine spaces”, taking into account that the aim is to guarantee the long-term sustainability of the fishing activity, considering environmental, economical and social aspects. Moreover, because marine areas are used daily by numerous fishing boats, the project also coincides with the Objective 2.1 of the Priority 2 “Improve maritime safety”, since it will be obtained information on the fishing activity, essential to promote the integrated management of the marine areas.

 

PRESPO is clearly trans-national as in the areas included in the project (Portugal, Spain and France) in particular, and in the Atlantic Area in general, the artisanal fishery has great social and economical importance, namely in the areas that highly dependent on this activity, which is a tradition and a factor of regional identity that constitutes part of the culture of the different regions, and therefore, should be maintained and preserved. With the project PRESPO it is expected 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. PRESPO will contribute to the organisation 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. For these reasons, PRESPO counts with the support from the fisheries sector, in particular from the Conseil Consultatif Régional Sud.

 

The partnership PRESPO is constituted by 11 partners (2 Portuguese, 6 Spanish and 3 French) and 6 associates partners (4 French and 2 Spanish, all regional authorities) that will act as external financing, and is represented by Research Institutes (IPIMAR, IFREMER, IFAPA); Universities (FEUP, UCA, UHU); Regional Administrations (CEP) and non-profitable organisations (CETMAR, AZTI, AGLIA, RICEP). Some partners extend their activity throughout all the national territory, as IPIMAR (Portugal), IFREMER, AGLIA and RICEP (France). Thus, the consortium covers all regions of the Atlantic Area of Portugal, Spain and France, except the region of Cantabria. The consortium results from a society based on the complementarity needed to achieve the objectives of the project, and benefits from the great experience of participants in diverse research fields, whose knowledge and expertise will allow, for the first time, to approach the theme in an integrated way, searching for solutions and for the development of common strategies, in a spirit of true trans-national cooperation, therefore constituting an added value.

 

PRESPO is based on several clearly innovating components, not only in its methodological aspects and in the tools that will be used / developed but also in its strategic focus. An innovative aspect of this project is the creation of Observatories of the artisanal fisheries, at local or regional level, which will act as a forum of analysis and discussion among professionals, researchers and local administrations, leading to scientific-technical proposals to the Fisheries Administration, thus ensuring a high involvement and cooperation by all partners. PRESPO is structured in 6 activities that will be developed during 3 years, being the first activity dedicated to the management and dissemination of the project. Activity 2 is transversal to all the other activities and aims to involve the main stakeholders in the decision process, through the creation of local or regional Observatories of artisanal fisheries. On the other hand, since baseline information on artisanal fisheries is very scarce (contrasting with big fisheries) systems will be implemented to allow both gathering, in a quick and reliable way, a set of data related to the fishing activity, and the control of the fishing activity (Activity 2). This will allow collecting data, information and tools that contribute for better fisheries management, by incorporating into the decision system new considerations of social and economical issues (that complement biological and technological data), or external conditions to the fishing activity itself (Activity 3). Another aspect that is fundamental   or the sustainable development of the fishing communities and for the resources is to bet in the diversification of the economical activities undertaken by professional fishermen, which will permit to evaluate the possibility of conjugating the fishery with activities associated to the touristic sector (fishing-tourism and eco-tourism) (Activity 4). Moreover, it is important to support the fishing activity through the valorisation of the fishing products, fomenting the quality, either by certifying that quality or by   certifying the seafood caught with fishing gears that respect the marine environment (Activity 5). The valorisation of the fishing products implies, at first, knowing the impacts that fishing gears may cause in the ecosystem (Activity 6). In order to achieve that, studies will be conducted to evaluate the impacts of the discards in the marine environment and to develop new fishing gears (or modify the existing ones), more selective and efficient than those used actually, aiming to minimise the impacts in the ecosystem. The encouragement and the promotion of fishing practices that reduce the impacts in the marine environment is also a priority of this project.

 

For each one of the activities 2-6 a working group, coordinated respectively by CEP, AZTI, CETMAR, RICEP and AGLIA, will be created. These WG will be supervised by the Lead partner (IPIMAR). The direction of the project and the adequate functioning of the partnership will be guaranteed by a Steering Committee, composed by the coordinators of the working groups and by a member of the remaining partners, under the leadership of IPIMAR. The coordinators of the working groups will be responsible for stimulating the research activities of the project, promoting the exchange of experiences and writing interim reports for the Steering Committee. The partnership supports a broad dissemination of the project and its results, by using, whenever possible, the communication platform of the Programme. Several divulgation strategies will be used: i) Internet web-site; ii) regular participation and/or organisation of the associates in technical-scientific meetings; iii) writing publications (scientific papers and papers of general topics); iv) attendance to scientific congresses and symposia; v) actions of general diffusion in distinct mass media, fairs and leaflets; vi) development of DVDs aiming to promote the artisanal fisheries. At the end of the project, a Seminary on the Artisanal Fisheries in the Atlantic Area will be organised, where and the main results and conclusions of the project will be presented. The expected results of the project PRESPO will have a very positive repercussion, since they will serve as an instrument that will generate ideas, proposals and initiatives for the study and anagement of the artisanal fisheries within the EU and it may contribute with innovative proposals to the European, national, regional or local policies related to the fisheries sector. On the other hand, the results and conclusions of the present project might be an instrument that will generate new projects.

 

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