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Small scale fisheries in Europe: A comparative analysis based on a selection of case studies
Guyader, O.; Berthou, B.; Koutsikopoulos, C.; Alban, F.; Demaneche, S.; Gaspar, M.B.; Eschbaum, R.; Fahy, E.; Tully, O.; Reynal, L.; Curtil, O.; Frangoudès, K.; Maynou, F. (2013). Small scale fisheries in Europe: A comparative analysis based on a selection of case studies. Fish. Res. 140: 1-3.
In: Fisheries Research. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0165-7836, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Fishing rights; Indicators; Small scale fishing; Marine
Author keywords
    Common fisheries policy; Fleet

Authors  Top 
  • Guyader, O.
  • Berthou, B.
  • Koutsikopoulos, C.
  • Alban, F.
  • Demaneche, S.
  • Gaspar, M.B.
  • Eschbaum, R.
  • Fahy, E.
  • Tully, O.
  • Reynal, L.
  • Curtil, O.
  • Frangoudès, K.
  • Maynou, F.

    Small-scale fisheries have traditionally received less research effort than large-scale fisheries and are generally under-studied in Europe. In spite of their comparatively low volume of catches and economic importance, small-scale fisheries are socially important and an integral part of the European coastal zone. Considering the high heterogeneity of situations and the paucity of quantitative data, we used an analytical methodology based on the comparative method. We carried out an analysis of small-scale fisheries (SSFs) in Europe based on a selection of nine case studies. Our objective was to obtain a comprehensive description of small-scale fleets covering different areas/fisheries/species, encompassing the diversity and specific conditions under which SSFs operate, in order to demonstrate the ecological and social sustainability of this often overlooked fisheries segment. A common approach formulated so that the case studies could be compared with the case histories of other competing users, required that for each set of criteria – technical, biological, socio-economic, and institutional – a set of relevant items and indicators was established. An analysis of characteristics common to the selected case studies is conducted and an attempt made to extend our comparisons to the whole of the European Union. Our results show that (as compared with large-scale fleets, their main competitor) small-scale fleets: (i) are composed of smaller vessels and, consequently, travel lower distances to fishing grounds, and are more reliant on coastal areas; (ii) have smaller crews (although the global employment figure is similar to that of large-scale fleets in Europe); (iii) use mostly, but not exclusively, passive gears; (iv) use multi-purpose fishing approaches, and can change the fish species they target during the year; (v) have lower extraction rates; (vi) have lower total capital investments (including fishing rights), turnover and costs; and (vii) have lower fuel consumption, making them less sensitive to changing oil prices. Dependence on subsidies is lower (viii). Involvement in fisheries management is variable, conservation and access regulation measures are largely local in origin. For the selected case studies, the most significant competitors are large-scale fleets, and recreational fisheries, but other sources of interaction (water quality, invasive species, etc.) cannot be ignored.

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