The EcoFishMan research project aims to develop a new and alternative responsible fisheries management system for Europe, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to Nofima.
This large-scale EU project, which started on March 1st 2011, has a budget of around NOK 30 million.
The project involves research scientists from throughout Europe. The EcoFishMan research consortium has a broad composition, comprising experts in everything from biology, quotas and technology to economics, sociology and law with project partner institutions in Norway, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal and Italy.
Over the next three years the scientists will closely examine the EU's fisheries policy. They will assess what is functioning and what is not, come up with alternative ways of doing things, compare results and formulate a proposal for an alternative management system.
The scientists have chosen four different case studies for the project: the Icelandic cod fishery, the Portuguese crustacean trawl fishery, the North Sea mixed trawl fishery and the Mediterranean demersal fishery.
"From a scientific perspective, this is a most challenging project. It is complex, huge and challenging, but also extremely important for our principal, the European Commission, and if we succeed the impact on future EU fisheries management may be very significant" says Nofima Senior Scientist Petter Olsen.
Nofima's most important task will be to collect and harmonize different types of data from the case studies.
Based on this data, the scientists will attempt to simulate the effect of the alternative fishery policies, what is happening with the stocks, the need for government subsidies for the fishery industry, economic development in the fleet and what is happening with the industry.
The source data and analyses will be used to construct a new management system, a task for which the University of Tromsø has been allocated the primary responsibility.
The project will then evaluate the costs and benefits of the new management system, and the acceptability to stakeholders. One aim is to find out what the world would have looked like today - if the new management system had been implemented by the EU a decade ago.
The project is headed by the Icelandic research institute Matis.