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The European Fisheries Technology Platform (EFTP) celebrated its General Assembly the 24th November. Click here to read the conclusions

The last 15th of March, a delegation of EFTPs’ (European Fisheries Technology Platform) Board of Directors met with the European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Ms. Maria Damanaki. The aim of the meeting was to make the EFTP available for the Commissioner and for DG Mare and to show the progress achieved in this organization.










a) Improve the robustness and minimize the uncertainty in the scientific assessment on stocks;

The importance of fisheries data for scientific analysis is crucial, as well as the collaboration of industry and Administrators, with the scientists. Moreover, the implementation of a management system based directly on fishing effort should be proposed, given the biased statistics generated with the TACs and quotas system.

b) Improve the exploitation patterns of fisheries           

It has been shown (Ricker, 1954; Beverton & Holt, 1957), that the more rational is the pattern of exploitation, the more significant can be the fishing mortality, fishing effort and sustainable catch. Hence. there is a need to implement all possible measures, to avoid the capture of juveniles, such as (for example): increasing the mesh size; establishing temporary bans in recruitment areas; and introducing escape route systems in cod-end mesh. This would even lead to an increase in MSY points, according to the well-known rule that the smaller the number of juveniles which are caught, the larger the fishing effort can be (and higher sustainable catches could be made). On the other hand, the objective of the European Commission to minimize discards is shared. Thus, technological progress should be achieved for avoiding unwanted catches and for the utilization of species whose capture is actually impossible to avoid.

c) Make fishing more profitable and ecology friendly   

It is necessary to make progress on saving fuel for fishing vessels. Likewise, in the use of renewable energy alternatives, to improve the profitability of the activity and to contribute to the lowering of CO2 emissions. In this way the European Union sets an example to the world fleet The ‘greenhouse effect’ causes changes in oceanographic conditions in the seas and oceans and, therefore, in fishing resources.

d) Make progress in the application of the ecosystem approach to fisheries management.     

Applying the ecosystem approach to fisheries management is, at the moment, an unattainable goal. There are some tentative steps taken to identify and protect some vulnerable marine ecosystems, or to prevent by-catch of environmentally-sensitive species (mammals, turtles, seabirds).

However, to manage an ecosystem considering the fishermen as an element already forming part of the ecosystem, is another matter. Therefore, it is necessary to quantify the food chains of ecosystems in which the fisheries are operating, e.g. what would it mean for the Atlantic North-East ecosystem to go from a hake spawning stock (main demersal predator) of 150,000 t, to another with 300,000 t? How does this affect hake juveniles and other species in the ecosystem? To actually reach this position is extremely complex, but a fascinating goal in the medium- and long-term: It requires a major effort to develop fisheries and oceanographic research within and outside the EU (R & D Framework Programmes, National Research Plans, Research Institutes in Member States, etc.)

e) Create a collaborative link between the European fishing industry and society and project a positive image of the sector.               

Finally, the platform will help to create a collaborative link between the European fishing industry and society, to project an image of overcoming present unsustainable practices and emphasising on the strong willingness of the sector to achieve an efficient and sustainable management of resources and their ecosystems. This new image must be the key to distinguishing and providing value to the products of European fishing fleets, compared to fisheries from other countries supplying our markets.

Scope and objective of this WG


The objective for fisheries management pursued by the EFTP is placing the exploited stocks at the level of a Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY), in accordance with the results of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development of the United Nations (Johannesburg, South Africa). This has been assumed by the European Union for fisheries, exploited by its Member States.

The above occurs because to achieve a sustainable fishing in the different marine regions, together with a fishing industry with economic and social stability, it is essential to have stable fishing resources. Preserving a spawning-stock biomass to ensure a high-level annual recruitment is what maintains stable stocks and profitable long-term fisheries.

In recent years, fisheries management has evolved from a precautionary approach to an objective of Maximun Sustainable Yield; in the near future, it will evolve towards an ecosystem approach. The first step, implementing recovery plans to bring overfished stocks to the landmarks of the precautionary approach, has led to and continues to entail important sacrifices for fleets. Once these reference points are achieved, managing fisheries and stocks to the point of maximum sustainable yield by 2015, implies also important sacrifices.

Part of the key aspects hereunder addressed, complement other relevant thematic areas of the EFTP, and all together give an idea of relevant key technology and knowledge challenges for significantly improving the sustainability of fisheries within the next decades.




































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Working group meeting reports available:


>Fishing Discards. Tackling the problem from a research and innovation perspective



>"Summary report and recommendations obtained from the workshop: fishing vessel technologies. Challenges for a sustainable european fishing fleet"

















































































































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