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Fisheries and Aquaculture
Fisheries and Aquaculture - Towards sustainable development of fishing and aquaculture activities
“To develop guidelines for identifying and applying effective marine protected areas as a contribution to sustainable fishery management.”

The problem

There is growing concern that traditional fishery management measures are failing to meet their declared objectives and, consequently, many fisheries are on the verge of collapse. Marine protected areas (MPAs) are seen as an instrument for improving both fisheries management and marine environmental protection.  To be effective, their primary objectives must be clearly defined and they must be properly managed. These tasks include site selection, zoning, planning and implementing a surveillance and enforcement system. It is also imperative that local communities, including resource users, are fully involved.

EMPAFISH  Ecosystem conservation and fisheries management through Marine Protected Areas


EMPAFISH has a number of general and operational objectives.

  • Reviewing the effectiveness of different MPA regimes across Europe in protecting sensitive and endangered species, habitats and ecosystems from the effects of fishing.
  • Formulating integrated policy proposals and practical measures for establishing MPAs in the Atlanto-Mediterranean.
  • During the first 18 months, the partners will carry out the compilation, comparative analysis, and interpretation of data gathered from established Atlanto-Mediterranean MPAs.
  • In the second year, indicators for assessing the biological and socio-economic effects and effectiveness of MPAs will be developed and evaluated.

Contribution to policy development:

  • EMPAFISH directly addresses the policy priority for assessing the potential of marine protected areas for marine environment protection and fisheries management (COM 2001.143)
  • EMPAFISH will support the EU in pursuing its objectives for the conservation of marine biodiversity and the establishment of MPAs, as agreed various international accord, including the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity
  • EMPAFISH will provide an assessment of the value and guidelines for implementing MPAs as an option in future fishery management regulations

Project deliverables

  • Literature review of socio-economic aspects of MPAs – start March 2005, end July 2005
  • Ecological, fishery and socio-economic databases – start March 2005, end March 2006
  • Report on fieldwork identifying gaps in data – start April 2005, end November 2005
  • Annual project meetings – February 2006, 2007
  • Report on the main fisheries effects of MPAs – start July 2005, end July 2006
  • Adapted bio-economic software model (BEMMFISH) for the analysis of management policies in MPAs – start March 2006, end October 2006
  • Management guideline manuals – start March 2007, end March 2008


  • Project website, and maintain monthly updates – start March 2005, end May 2005
  • Leaflet describing scope of project and initial results – start April 2005, end January 2006
  • Inter-active website that enables stakeholders to explore the application of models – start February 2006, end September 2007
  • Progress reports – April 2006, September 2006, September 2007
  • Final project report and policy implementation plan (PIP) – March 2008
  • International symposium on MPA – start September 2005, end January 2008

Technical information

Project acronym: EMPAFISH
Project’s official full title: European Marine Protected Areas as tools for FISHeries management and conservation
Research priority: 1.3. Modernisation and sustainability of fisheries, including aquaculture-based production systems
Specific webpage: Details not yet available
Proposal/contract no: 006539
Start date: March 2005
Kick off meeting: March 2005
Completion date: March 2008
European Commission scientific officer: Jacques Fuchs (

Name: Ángel Pérez Ruzafa, Universidad de Murcia
Abbreviated name: UMU
Address: Avda. Teniente Flomesta, nº 5
Country: Spain
Tel: +34 968 364 998
Fax: +34 968 363 417
e.mail address: Angel Pérez-Ruzafa (


Name: Centre national de la recherche scientifique 
Abbreviated name: CNRS
Country: France

Name: Institut de Ciències del Mar
Abbreviated name: ICM
Country: Spain   

Name: Instituto Español de Oceanografía
Abbreviated name: IEO
Country: Spain   

Name: International Marine Centre
Abbreviated name: IMC
Country: Italy

Name: Instituto dell’Ambiente Marino Costiero
Abbreviated name: IAMC
Country: Italy 

Name: Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Abbreviated name: PML
Country: United Kingdom         

Name: Universidad de Alicante
Abbreviated name: UA
Country: Spain   

Name: Universidad de La Laguna
Abbreviated name: ULL
Country: Spain

Name: Instituto do Mar – Universidade dos Azores
Abbreviated name: IMAR
Country: Portugal           

Name: Università degli Studi di Palermo
Abbreviated name: UPA
Country: Italy

Name: Université de Bretagne Occidentale
Abbreviated name: UBO
Country: France

Name: University of Malta
Abbreviated name: UMT
Country: Malta

Name: Università di Pisa 
Abbreviated name: UPI
Country: Italy