The news we are used to hear about fisheries is generally negative. We hear about over exploitation of stocks, unregulated and illegal fishing, bycatch of protected species and discards. We hardly never hear about the fishermen who are collaborating with researchers and conservationists, or about the difficulties regulated fisheries have to stay competitive with regards to imports of uncontrolled or illegal fishing and aquaculture products.

Unfortunately this bad fame of fisheries often puts more pressure on the few fisheries that are doing a good job, than those which don’t invest on ecological, economic and social sustainability.

The project “Fishermen, stewards of the NATURA 2000 network” aims at supporting those fishermen who are down the path of regulated and sustainable fishing.

The project is developed at three levels:

  • Firstly it involves the development of joint research projects with fishermen, focusing on tagging of great pelagics as sea turtles, cetaceans, tunas and sharks.
  • Secondly it focuses on the capacity development and perspective exchange between fishermen, scientists and policy makers, with the aim of strengthening their collaboration.
  • Thirdly, the project develops a communication strategy to highlight positive news on responsible fisheries, and facilitate a positive momentum in the sector.