Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

ECOST — Result In Brief

Project ID: 3711
Funded under: FP6-INCO

The real price of fishing

Establishing the costs of fishing incurred on community, industry and environment, among others, will enable the sector and involved policymakers to design more efficient fishing-related policies.
The real price of fishing
The fishing industry represents an important sector for the economy, and policymakers must be armed with the right information to develop policies that advance this sector effectively. The EU-funded project ECOST evaluated the costs of fishing activities and policies, from the toll on ecological and economic aspects to social and developmental costs.

Project scientists looked at costs related to production, subsidies, food safety, development, environmental impact, commercialisation and many other aspects. The work was conducted in different coastal systems worldwide, i.e. coastal areas in West Africa, delta environments in Southeast Asia and the coral reef in the Caribbean, including Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The project's triple focus – marine environment, fishing activities and civil society – brought life sciences and social sciences together, calling on a wide range of experts to help provide estimates.

ECOST first studied existing approaches for impact assessments. It then developed methods for sociological evaluation and economic evaluation, in addition to an ecological model that best fits the sector. The project team subsequently produced several reports and papers which evaluate traditional fishing models and address how best to measure the overall societal cost of fishing activities.

Another major project achievement involved developing an effective model for social impact, including a study of biological, ecological and economic factors that limit its use in specific regions or ecosystems. The project team then conducted comparative studies on social costs of fishing activities and the consequences of using specific techniques and practices, in addition to highlighting man-made pressures on ecosystems.

Overall, the project was deemed very successful. It published more than 100 papers in scientific journals as well as 17 book chapters, in addition to organising over 70 conference presentations and more than 40 workshops. ECOST also articulated options for public policy in line with the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing (CCRF).

Most importantly, the project offered a new approach that could substantially improve the way fisheries are managed worldwide. The tools and strategies developed can ensure sustainability of marine ecosystems, provide security to fishermen, preserve the livelihood of coastal communities and even alleviate poverty.

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