COFASP: new marine living resources ERA-NET launched
The European Commission is funding with 2 million a new collaborative research project to promote sustainable exploitation of marine living resources and to push innovation and competitiveness in fisheries, aquaculture, seafood processing and distribution to consumers.
Entitled COFASP, the project brings together 26 partners from 13 Member States, two Associated Countries (Norway and Iceland) and the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).
These countries join forces under what the European Commission calls an ERA-NET instrument which aims at reinforcing cooperation and coordination of research activities carried out at national or regional level in the Member States and Associated States through the networking of research activities and the mutual opening of national and regional research programmes.
COFASP has three main objectives:
- To improve innovation and competitiveness of fishery, aquaculture and seafood supply chains all the way to the consumer;
- To define the research and information needed to underpin revisions to the Common Fisheries Policy and ensure national R&D programmes support its implementation; and
- To develop a strategy for cooperation between the Commission, Member States, the research community and other stakeholders.
This new ERA-NET started on 1 February 2013 and will run until 31 January 2017 and it will operate in a complex landscape as it is expected to develop synergies and collaborative work with other EU funded structures in the field of fisheries while avoiding duplications.
The project will also interact with the Joint Programming Initiative Oceans (JPI OCEANS), the BONUS Programme (Joint Baltic Sea Research and Development Programme (Bonus) and the SCAR FISH that in 2012 agreed on the establishment of a policy-driven strategic group to advise the Commission and Member States on research policies and research themes in support of the revised Common Fisheries Policy.
The work of COFASP picks up where the FP6 MARIFISH project left off, broadening the scope of research to aquaculture and seafood research. The MARIFISH was developed between 2006 and 2011 and it received nearly 3 million Euros in funding from the European Commission. It brought together the major European national funders of marine fisheries research in an effective working partnership that strengthened the links between marine fisheries science and fisheries management.