Bycatch and protected fishing areas also identified as key topics for sustainably managing fisheries
Global warming is a key difficulty in sustainably managing European fisheries in the future, according to a comprehensive survey conducted by the EU-funded EcoScope Project. The study explored what EU fishery stakeholders perceived as the biggest challenges in sustainably managing European fisheries in the years to come.
According to the findings, 72.2 percent of those surveyed identified global warming as a major barrier to sustainably managing fisheries. This was followed by bycatch and protected areas and fisheries restricted areas, (50 percent each) in terms of managing fisheries sustainably in the ecosystem context.
Biodiversity indicators came in as the fourth most important topic (44 percent) while trade-offs between different uses of marine and coastal areas and species distribution were fifth at 33.3 percent.
“The data provided from this survey will be evaluated and implemented by EcoScope, to fine-tune the accuracy of their marine policy scenarios, and spatial planning simulations amongst many other complex models and techniques,” said Associate Professor Athanassios Tsikliras, EcoScope project coordinator at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.
The survey was conducted to formulate an accurate understanding of fisheries stakeholders’ main needs, challenges and possible obstacles. EcoScope aims to develop a series of e-tools that can be easily used by stakeholders as a decision support system to implement an ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM).
“EcoScope Project is well-positioned to address many of the key concerns and needs reported in this survey,” said Tsikliras. “The insights obtained are highly valuable for the development of the EcoScope e-tools and the project will continue to engage with stakeholders to ensure the final tools address stakeholders’ needs.”
Stakeholders were invited to answer the questionnaire, formulated by EcoScope partner The European Marine Board, based on their relevance for EBFM at the European level. They included a well-balanced cross-section of members including scientific advisory bodies, management, regulatory bodies, policymakers and NGOs.
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