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Media invitation: Fishermen bring scientists on board - GAP1 project results exhibited at “MARE V- People and the Sea” in Amsterdam on July 9-10

Fishermen around Europe demonstrate that they can participate fully in the research for fisheries management. By engaging with scientists in developing plans for participatory research, they make collaborative research and scientific transparency into concrete realities. This effort could have a significant impact on the sustainability of European fisheries.

9 July 2009 - 11 July 2009

As a first step toward embedding participation in the heart of decision-making process, fishermen and scientist partners of the EU Framework 7 project ‘GAP1’ are working together to develop ideas for research that will tackle scientific issues of shared interest, including:
• Marine spatial planning,
• Empowering industry to assess the sustainability of resources and fisheries
• Ecological studies
• Management measures and discarding
• Fisheries management decision making

In addition to developing research partnership ideas, GAP1 carried out evaluations of the processes. This generated lessons and reflections on how to improve collaboration between fishermen and scientists.

“What advice would you give to fishermen and scientists building cooperation?“, we asked fishermen and scientists alike.

GAP1 Fisherman:“[…]what I would suggest to any scientist that wants to enlist the help of a fishing boat, or a fisherman, is before they make any request, specific requests, they go on the boat and they observe the operation and they would straight away see what we could do practically to assist them […]”

Sometimes improving collaboration between fishermen and scientists was quite simple!

GAP1 Fisherman: “[…]yes, just a phone call, really, so we’re not gonna stop people from coming in, as long as [they] don’t get on our way of what we’re doing”

Approximately 20 persons were interviewed by the anthropologist who conducted the evaluations. Half were scientists and half were fishermen. They were asked open questions such as: “How has your experience working together with fishermen/scientists been?”; “What advice would you give to improve the cooperation”; “What concerns do you have of this type of cooperation”

GAP1 Fisherman: “[…] [when] we need to discuss different areas, with different scientists or biologists […], they need to come to see, to see firsthand what we’re talking about, I’m not gonna sit here for hours and tell you what happens, but you can find that out for yourself in a day, one day at sea on a normal small boat […] in the summer season, you could see how we work, and that would help other scientists, because you could tell them [in your own] language, what you saw”

For more information on the GAP project, including the Good Practice Guide to Participatory Research in Fisheries Science and information on all planned research projects, please visit

GAP1 Communication Officer
Charlotta Jarnmark
Ivar Vidfamnes gata 5
SE-126 52 Hägersten

GAP1 Project Coordinator
Steven Mackinson
Cefas, Pakefield road
Lowestoft, Suffolk
United Kingdom
Phone:+44 (0)1502 524295