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Greater Collaboration to Benefit Future of EU Fish


EU - Scientists, fishermen and policy-makers will gather in Barcelona 24-26 February to take part in a pioneering symposium exploring how greater collaboration in fisheries research can contribute to the successful long-term future of fishing in the EU.

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Entitled ‘Participatory Research and Co-Management in Fisheries’, the event is organised by European Commission funded project, GAP2. It will explore how fishers’ involvement in research can help to establish the knowledge-base for management measures that are fit-for-purpose.

Norwegian cod fisherman, Jan Andersen, comments on his hopes for the event: “This symposium will be a great opportunity to meet other fishermen who have been involved in research with scientists, and to meet policy-makers who determine our future as fishers. I am looking forward to presenting my experiences of collaboration, and to hear how it has worked in other fisheries in Europe. I am hopeful for the future of fishing".

Including fisher-only and policy-maker-only panels, and an innovative, interactive afternoon of the ‘GAP2 Great Exhibition’, the symposium will go beyond the traditional format of scientific conferences, and encourage active participation from all delegates.

A key feature of event will be a two-part workshop on ‘Co-management in the Mediterranean’, involving fishers, scientists, and high-level policy makers from across this key region. The workshop will address sustainability in the Mediterranean Sea, and explore co-management from different technical and policy perspectives.

The symposium as a whole will offer an opportunity for different groups of fisheries stakeholders, and regional, national, and international law-makers, to question each other on how they envision the future of fisheries in the EU, and how to overcome challenges to greater participation in fisheries research.

GAP2 Coordinator, Dr Steven Mackinson: "Scientists are waking up to the value of incorporating fishers' knowledge into the design and implementation of their research. This GAP2 event will be a fantastic opportunity for scientists from all over the world to hear first-hand from fishers, scientists and policy makers involved in participatory research how the process has worked for them, and what challenges they have faced."

Held against the backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea, the symposium aims to forge new partnerships for future research, and provide a collaborative forum in which all contributions are given equal credence.