University joins major project to manage global overfishing
The University of Portsmouth is involved in a major new international project to improve EU fisheries and examine overfishing across the globe.
The FarFish project aims to improve the sustainability and profitability of the European fishing fleet operating outside European waters.
It brings together 21 organisations and agencies across Europe, Africa and South America, in addition to a number of international organisations.
The Portsmouth research team – consisting of Professor Pierre Failler, Dr Ben Drakeford, Professor Andy Thorpe and Aline Meidinger – will contribute to the analysis of value chain, existing governance, policy recommendations and management plan implementation.
Lead researcher Professor Failler said: “The project is all about developing practical, achievable and cost-effective fisheries management tools and advice which can be applied immediately.
The project is all about developing practical, achievable and cost-effective fisheries management tools and advice which can be applied immediately.
“Fisheries are complex and have been plagued by unregulated fishing in the past, so it is crucial we work with scientists, policy makers and other stakeholders to improve their management.
“Academics at the Business School have been researching the economic analysis of fisheries since the 1960s, so we have plenty of expertise in this area making us key contributors to this major project.”
FarFish will explore the sustainability of commercially important species such as tuna, hake, mackerel, sardines, octopus and shrimp.
Fisheries are complex and have been plagued by unregulated fishing in the past, so it is crucial we work with scientists, policy makers and other stakeholders to improve their management.
It is designed around six case study areas in which European operators are actively engaged in fishing activities, including Cape Verde, Mauritania, Senegal and Seychelles, as well as the international seas in the southeast and southwest Atlantic.
FarFish project coordinator Jónas Rúnar Viðarsson of Matís, an Icelandic food research company, said: “About 20 per cent of the catch of the European fishing fleet is obtained from non-European sea areas. This access is granted in international marine areas and within the jurisdiction of coastal states where agreements have been made on access of the fleet.
These EU ‘Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements’ grant European operators access to fisheries and include financing for infrastructure development in the fisheries sector. These agreements have been controversial, especially on the west coast of Africa. In response to this criticism, FarFish’s mission is to support research and development efforts to promote improvements in this area.”
FarFish is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.