The main objective of this project is to bring together experts from different countries, academic disciplines and industry sectors, all persons who have been engaged in former projects with the aim of creating better and more policy-relevant planning instruments for European coastal areas.
Sub goals are:
1. to identify fisheries dependent areas in Europe and highlight those which are most economically and socially vulnerable;
2. to diagnose the most important macro processes (from fisheries policy, environmental change, technological change, etc) expected to influence these areas in the next decade;
3. to select a number of indicator coastal communities with fisheries dependence for comparative in-depth studies;
4. in this process, to use some of the harmonised indicators that have been developed for European rural areas with fisheries dependency, and
5. to assist those responsible for the management of the CFP with tools that will enable them more easily to assess the social and economic consequences of alternative management options
2. METHODOLOGY AND RESEARCH TASKS
The main outcome of this project shall be a database material with special emphasis on the socio-economic conditions in European coastal areas with fisheries dependence. The structure of the database consists of three elements: a macro-material with aggregated numerical information, a micro-material with both statistics and other types of information and the "front-page": an Internet presentation.
The Internet presentation will be developed in both volume and complexity throughout the project. In the start of the project the Internet presentation will appear more like a framework with maps and national statistics. At the time of completion users from all over Europe will have access to a substantial material with both quantitative and qualitative information about the selected indicator coastal communities and the counties, regions and countries they belong to. The intention is that the database shall involve users in the collection of information and that this work shall continue even when this particular project has ended.
There will be two main processes following each other hand in hand throughout the three years project period, a "top-down" process developing the aggregated data, and a "bottom-up" process preparing in-depth materials for the selected indicator coastal communities. Within each of these activities there will be groups of researchers preparing the materials about fisheries dependent coastal areas, respectively from the macro and the micro perspective.
A third process is hardly distinguishable from the two first processes, as it integrates the two other activities by specific measures. In terms of the number of users, this third process will be the most important part of the database. Here selected information shall be made available for large groups of users.
The goal of this third process is continuously to improve the public utilisation of the database material, to help managers and others to assess more easily the social and economic consequences of alternative management options. The core element in this strategy is the Internet presentation.
The Internet presentation will give users a filtered access to the aggregated statistical files and full access to the historic specific information about each indicator community. "Feed-back" from qualified users will be used to improve the design of the Internet presentation and to decide which new information shall be made available for the public. Therefore, one of the most important issues related to dissemination is to establish a network of professionals who are using the database and can suggest improvements.
In practice, the database files will be stored in three different sources, each with their own particular user interfaces. One source of the database information is the basic macro statistical files, the complex materials of (more or less comparative) aggregated data for fisheries activity and socio-economic data. These materials are the products of the "top-down" process and the "macro-perspective" working group. The other source of information is the diversified (often more qualitative) information about the selected indicator communities. This is the result of the "bottom-up" process and the "micro-perspective" working group. The third source of information is the Internet-presentation. This source will be the front page of the entire database. The information presented here shall be consciously selected from the two other sources.
By the two suggested main activities, the top-down and the bottom-up processes, and the integration of these activities through specific measures (named a third activity), researchers, administrators and interest groups will be involved in a three year consensus process. This process has the aim of improving the practical knowledge about the sustainability and diversity of coastal communities in Europe, and, in particular, about the strategic situation in fisheries dependent communities, which means 'the potential of intervention and change'.
Funding SchemeCON - Coordination of research actions
6200 AL Maastricht