The Conserving Atlantic Biodiversity by Supporting Innovative Small-Scale Fisheries Co-management (CABFishMan) programme has released a comprehensive review of existing methods for data collection in North East Atlantic small-scale fisheries.

The review, which includes contributions from fishermen, managers and scientists, sheds light on how new tech can make data-gathering more efficient and enable collaborative management, say the researchers. Their findings will now be used to develop a web-based tool ‘allowing stakeholders to identify the best way of collecting data in their fishery’.

CABFishMan is an international research project aimed at improving the protection of the marine environment and marine resources in the North East Atlantic. By engaging fishers and taking a collaborative approach, the project is exploring an ecosystem-sensitive approach to management of small-scale fisheries in the area.

Funded by the Interreg Atlantic Area European Regional Development Fund and spanning five countries, the project involves contributors from the UK, Ireland, Spain, France and Portugal.

“In the past two decades a shift in fisheries management has been promoted, from a single-species approach to a more holistic ecosystem-based approach,” said Arantza Murillas, principal researcher in sustainable fisheries management at AZTI Tecnalia and project co-ordinator of CABFishMan.

“However, moving towards it when managing multi-species, multi-gear small-scale fisheries remains a challenging task due to the importance of improving data collection across the North East Atlantic.”

The review provides an in-depth analysis of the various ways data is collected in small- scale fisheries, with an evaluation of the pros and cons of each, and recommendations for best practice. It draws on case studies from countries further afield, and explores how innovative technology such as self-sampling programmes and advanced spatial mapping could be used for co-management of these fisheries in the future.

“The review is especially relevant as it provides geo-referenced data on fishing effort and catches in the area – information which is crucial for establishing a collaborative co-management framework in the Atlantic region,” explained Arantza Murillas.

You can read the full review here.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here.

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