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CAFE — Result In Brief

Project ID: 22644
Funded under: FP6-POLICIES

Future for fishing

An in-depth investigation was made into fishing fleets, practices and people involved in the sector. Project outcomes will help policymakers develop a new strategy for better fishing management.
Future for fishing
The relationship among fishing fleets, energy consumption and fishing mortality is a complex one that can reveal much about viability and economics in the fishing sector. The EU-funded project 'Capacity, F and effort' (CAFE) looked at the relationship linking fleet capacity, fishing effort and fishing mortality in efforts to improve fishing management. Fleet capacity included factors such as engine power, kilowatt use, vessel size and fishermen's behaviour, helping to draw meaningful conclusions for the sector and create a better fishing management strategy.

CAFE conducted case studies in different climatic conditions involving a variety of fish species. It explored new analytical approaches and built on the opinions of experts using different models and metrics. The project then conducted a range of simulations to examine the fisheries' responses to limitations of capacity, effort or other parameters. It looked at past approaches to managing capacity and effort, as well as focusing on reasons behind investment in fleets.

After a comprehensive review of data on the subject, the project revealed important findings regarding fishing capacity and effort. It outlined more efficient ways for capacity modelling and found that setting total allowable catches for individual species in multi-species fisheries was inappropriate. CAFE also compiled a database from case study fisheries, including an integrated catch and effort international database

The project revealed, among other valuable findings, that economic metrics were often better predicators for fishing mortality than physical characteristics of the vessel. Surprisingly, it found that profit was not a key driver for investment and that there was no single factor that drove investment.

Lastly, study results concluded that managing fishing by controlling mortality would retain a larger but less efficient fleet by 2015. These results and many others, including the dynamics involved in fishermen's behaviour, will allow the sector to grow and be managed in a healthy way.

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