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FP6

AFRAME — Result In Brief

Project ID: 44168
Funded under: FP6-POLICIES
Country: Spain

Effectively managing Europe’s multispecies fisheries

Most methods for assessing and managing fisheries and fishing fleets have been based on single species assessments, or assessing one fishing stock in isolation from the rest. An EU-funded project has advanced both standardisation of multispecies fisheries’ information and socioeconomic modelling and management of European fisheries, both of which should enhance their competitiveness in the global market.
Effectively managing Europe’s multispecies fisheries
The project ‘A framework for fleet and area based fisheries management’ (Aframe) was designed to develop a platform for fisheries management that integrated multiple species assessments with indicators related to the fleets or fisheries themselves to enable the setting of management targets.

The investigators focused on three case studies reflecting various species as well as varying amounts of available assessment information: the North Sea, the Channel, Celtic Sea and Bay of Biscayne (ICES areas VII and VIII), and the Mediterranean.

The researchers used the Fleet and Fishery Forecast (Fcube) approach to bio-economic simulation, taking into account fleet catch potentials and fish stock preservation considerations to increase earnings and avoid over-fishing or quota underutilisation.

First, the researchers implemented the model in the North Sea, which has relatively few important commercial species most of which are regularly assessed. The case study led to important model enhancements.

Next, they applied the model to the ICES areas VII and VIII, with a relatively high number of target species that are variably assessed. They classified the fishing vessels according to standards developed at the beginning of the programme and identified the main stocks to be considered. Through extensive international collaboration, they assimilated important economic data as well.

The Mediterranean region has a very high number of species with very little assessment data. Thus, in order to apply the method to the Mediterranean region, the researchers systematically assimilated and reviewed data on fisheries, fleets and stocks never before evaluated. They also modified the model to include application to local fisheries not subject to total allowable catch (TAC) limitations, a significant enhancement for future applications.

Finally, they visited selected ports within the areas of study and interviewed fishermen to evaluate stakeholders’ perceptions and facilitate effective use of scientific recommendations.

Thus, the Aframe project contributed significant assimilation of data regarding multispecies fisheries in three European areas of interest, along with important enhancements to the Fcube model for fisheries management. The results should enhance the competitiveness of European fisheries while facilitating adherence to global regulations.

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