New bases for the management and gastronomic evaluation of deep sea fish and seafood species in the Macaronesia

Continued deep sea exploration, courtesy of the MARPROF project directed by the Canarian Marine Science Institute (ICCM), under the auspices of the Canary Islands Agency for Research, Innovation and the Information Society (ACIISI), has contributed to ongoing biodiversity research, promotion of new fish and seafood products, and increased citizen awareness.

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Collaboration between MARPROF and the Canary Islands Hotel School. © Oceanografica. Collaboration between MARPROF and the Canary Islands Hotel School. © Oceanografica.

" The results of this EU project support the development of an artisanal shellfish fleet, with great potential for generating jobs, new business opportunities and many other socio-economic benefits. "

Juan Ruiz Alzola, Director, ACIISI

The main aim of this project was the establishment of scientific and technological bases within the deep sea areas of the Macaronesia, to enable the sustainable exploitation of new fish and seafood resources for gastronomic and tourism purposes.

The principal activities carried out consisted of research conducted on oceanography and biology, with particular emphasis on the research and evaluation of the following species: deep water red crab (Chaceon affinis); soldier striped shrimp (Plesionika edwardsii) and other shrimps; black and intermediate scabbardfish (Aphanopus carbo and A. intermedius); crabs; king crabs.

Establishment of new fishing areas, products and knowledge transfer workshops

A new fishing area of 1 038 km2 at a depth of 200 to 500 m is now operational with a maximum sustainable annual yield of 80 tonnes/year. Numerous workshops and promotional activities held within the three archipelagos have achieved knowledge and technology transfer, in addition to raising awareness about the new products amongst relevant sector professionals and consumers.

Prestigious award

One of the greatest successes of the MARPROF project has been the close collaboration between the public and private sectors, namely marine scientists and high quality gastronomy professionals, in order to boost high-end tourism and widely communicate these synergies to Macaronesian citizens and beyond.

Indeed, by measure of its success, Gourmand World Cookbooks awarded the MARPROF recipe book the title of “Best Spanish Fish and Seafood Book” for 2013.

The project has contributed to the creation and maintenance of direct jobs via the contracting of ship crews and other related professionals for exploration and research, the operation of ten additional fishing boats and the conversion of two large scale longline boats for the fishing of soldier striped shrimp.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project MARPROF is EUR 836 688, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 711 185 through the Madeira-Azores-Canarias (MAC) Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.

Draft date