Navigation path

Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia

Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia


   Infocentre

Published: 19 June 2017  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
Agriculture & foodMarine resources & aquaculture
EnvironmentSustainable development
Research infrastructures
Research policySeventh Framework Programme
Countries involved in the project described in the article
Belgium  |  Denmark  |  France  |  Germany  |  Greece  |  Ireland  |  Netherlands  |  Norway  |  Poland  |  Spain  |  Sweden  |  United Kingdom
Add to PDF "basket"

New sustainable indicators to protect fish stocks and economy

EU-funded researchers have developed new indicators to determine fisheries' maximum sustainable yields that fully respect ecological, economic and social sustainability. These indicators will feed into Europe's fisheries management plans for all regions.

Picture of a fishing boat on the sea

© Bruno Barracuda - fotolia.com

The MSY (maximum sustainable yields) concept is about identifying the highest possible catch of a species that can be taken without negatively impacting future fish numbers or the ecosystem. MSY is a cornerstone of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) – in fact the concept has been used for 50 years to manage fisheries – and ultimately aims to provide EU citizens with a long-term, sustainable, secure and healthy food supply.

The MYFISH team established indicators for determining MSY that take into account ecological, economic and social sustainability. A key reason for the project’s success was that it acknowledged the difficulties fisheries face in calculating MSY. Fish stocks vary over time, affected by complex factors.

“In real life of course the fishing industry has to deal with a whole host of variable factors; fish eat each other and end up as lunch for seabirds and marine mammals,” explains project coordinator Anna Rindorf from the Technical University of Denmark. “The marine environment is constantly changing. And quite often, the fishing effort required to attain MSY of one species exceeds that required to attain MSY of another species caught in the same fishery.”

The project’s indicators will now be used to inform new multiannual implementation plans (the EU term for fisheries management plans) for all regions. The MYFISH team also created new user-friendly guides on how fisheries can make decisions that take into account these important economic, ecological and social aspects.

“We found that the specific characteristics of individual fisheries should be considered when developing plans,” says Rindorf. “These plans also need to explain trade-offs in a way that is easily understandable to users.”

Fishing for input

“This work was defined with the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders from industry and NGOs to managers. Importantly, MSY now encompasses both maximum economic yield and sustainability criteria, such as the desire to maintain and preserve sensitive species, as well as to support employment,” explains Rindorf.

The project analysed fisheries in the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and western waters, which include the Celtic Sea, Irish Sea, Bay of Biscay and Iberian Sea. From this, the project team was able to demonstrate first-hand the challenges that fisheries face, as they encountered significant changes in many stocks over the three years.

“One example is the Baltic Sea eastern cod stock, which experienced severe growth and even survival problems,” says Rindorf. “This made many of the existing models we use invalid.”

Data collected during fieldwork also supported a greater role for the Pretty Good Yield (PGY) concept. PGY is defined as a sustainable yield of at least 95 % of the maximum sustainable yield, and is generally obtained over a broad range of stock sizes.

In the meantime, by making the MSY concept fully operational and responsive to real life conditions at sea, MYFISH, which was completed in February 2016, has made a long-term contribution towards achieving sustainable fishing and maintaining healthy fish stocks, ecosystems and industries. But the work of the fisheries management researcher is not yet done. “The process to implement the multiannual plans continues, as does the task of continuously updating management to reflect ecosystem changes,” says Rindorf.

Project details

  • Project acronym: MYFISH
  • Participants: Denmark (Coordinator), Ireland, UK, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Greece, Norway, Poland, France, Belgium, Sweden
  • Project N°: 289257
  • Total costs: € 6 513 288
  • EU contribution: € 4 999 999
  • Duration: March 2012 - February 2016

See also

 

Convert article(s) to PDF

No article selected


loading


Search articles

Notes:
To restrict search results to articles in the Information Centre, i.e. this site, use this search box rather than the one at the top of the page.

After searching, you can expand the results to include the whole Research and Innovation web site, or another section of it, or all Europa, afterwards without searching again.

Please note that new content may take a few days to be indexed by the search engine and therefore to appear in the results.

Print Version
Share this article
See also
Project website
Project details


  Top   Research Information Center
 
Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia

Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia