The UNU Fisheries Training Programme (UNU-FTP) has partnered with the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme to launch FarFish, a project aimed at improving the sustainability of the European fishing fleet operating outside European waters.
FarFish brings together 21 organisations and agencies across Europe, Africa, and South America, in addition to a number of international organisations. The project launched last week with a kick-off meeting hosted by project partners Centro Tecnológico del Mar (CETMAR) in Vigo, Spain.
Currently, about 20% of the catch of the European fishing fleet is obtained from non-European sea areas. This access is granted in international areas and within the jurisdiction of coastal states where agreements have been made on access of the fleet. These 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”, said FarFish Project Coordinator Jónas Rúnar Viðarsson of Matís. “In response to this criticism, the Horizon 2020 research programme has decided to support research and development efforts to promote improvements in this area; that is the story of FarFish’s mission.”
FarFish is designed around six case study areas in which European operators are actively engaged in fishing activities, including Cape Verde, Mauritania, and Seychelles. Working with stakeholders to create accessible and adaptable fisheries management tools within these areas, the project will gain insights into the sustainability of commercially important species. Additionally, efforts will be made to increase the responsibility of the European fleet for area use and disclosure of information.
For more information, see the news story on the UNU-FTP website.