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Fishermen and scientists explore common ground in new project, GAP1

European scientists and fishery stakeholders recently met in London to initiate cooperation on the science and knowledge to improve understanding and long-term management of fisheries within the EU.

In an interactive workshop, participants worked together in developing good practice for the participation of stakeholders in fisheries research. The experience of invited participants from Canada, Finland, Shetland Islands and representatives from the European Commission and Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK) made a valuable contribution to the success of the workshop. Steve Mackinson (Cefas, UK), coordinator of ‘Bridging the Gap’ project expressed his enthusiasm of the outcomes of the initial meeting: "It was a very positive atmosphere with a lot of good will…it was an encouraging first-step in building the relationships for successful future collaboration". The GAP project includes 30 participants in partnerships from 15 science institutes and 15 fishery stakeholder organizations in Europe. During the next year, fishery stakeholders and scientists will share their expert knowledge in planning research case-studies that address issues of common interest. GAP 1 is particularly interested in learning about processes of effective collaboration and four of the cases have been selected for a more in-depth sociological study of how participants are exchanging knowledge. These case studies regard crab fisheries management in Devon, UK, Crayfish management in Lake Vattern, Sweden, marine protected areas in Malta and the mixing of in-shore and off-shore cod stocks in Norway. The sociological study will be carried out by Innovative Fisheries Management(IFM) at Aalborg University in Denmark and will be used to help improve the way future collaborative work is undertaken. Doug Wilson, Research Director at IFM points out: "The sociology of knowledge is playing an important and growing role in the management of fisheries and the broader marine ecosystem." The GAP1 project is funded under the 7th Framework, Science in Society programme of the European Commission. It contributes to the wider aspiration of the Science in Society programme by engaging the public and providing better conditions for collective choices on scientific issues relating to sustainable management of the marine environment. Project information: Duration: 1st April 2008 - 30th September 2009 Project coordinator: Steven Mackinson, Cefas, UK Funding source: Science in Society programme of the Framework 7of the European Commission Project number: 217639 Website: Pressrelease: Contacts: Communications officer: Charlotta Jarnmark phone: +46 761 602331 Work activity questions: Steven Mackinson, phone: +44 1502 524295




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