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Global Issues of Sustainable Fishing Explored in New Book

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A new book exploring some of the crucial issues facing sustainable fishing and the communities it supports across the world has been co-edited by three University of Greenwich academics.

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Social Issues in Sustainable Fisheries Management, published by Springer and part of the MARE (Centre for Maritime Research) Publication Series, features a diverse collection of essays from social scientists, geographers, writers, economists and policy makers.

Its editors are rural geographer Dr Julie Urquhart and environmental geographer Dr Tim Acott, from the university's Faculty of Engineering & Science; social scientist Minghua Zhao, at the university’s Greenwich Maritime Institute; and David Symes, Reader Emeritus at the University of Hull.

The book addresses a range of social issues confronting both fisheries management and fishing communities today. Topics include fisher livelihoods, gender roles and equality for women in fishing communities, the contribution of fishing to local identity and sense of place, and the need for integration of local communities into the decision-making and management process.

Dr Acott and Dr Urquhart are currently leading a €300,000 international partnership to promote sustainable fishing and tourism in the UK and parts of Europe, known as TourFish, or Tourism for inshore fishing, food and sustainability.

They have also been leading a €4.6 million project, Geography of Inshore Fishing and Sustainability (GIFS), to help regenerate coastal fishing communities in England and France.

Dr Urquhart said: “There has been a noticeable lack of a consideration of the social and cultural issues in fisheries management and policy. This volume presents compelling evidence for considering the importance of fishing for those who live and work in these communities, in order to make better and more sustainable decisions about fisheries management.”

Dr Acott added: “Despite vastly differing socio-economic, political and geographical contexts, inshore fishing fleets and coastal communities worldwide face similar issues.”