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The re-emergence of small-scale fisheries in Belgium? – An enquiry
Verlé, K.; Sys, K.; Pecceu, E.; Verleye, T.; van Winsen, F.; Lescrauwaet, A.-K. (2020). The re-emergence of small-scale fisheries in Belgium? – An enquiry, in: Pascual-Fernández, J.J. et al. Small-Scale Fisheries in Europe: Status, resilience and governance. MARE Publication Series, 23: pp. 369-394.
In: Pascual-Fernández, J.J.; Pita, C.; Bavinck, M. (Ed.) (2020). Small-Scale Fisheries in Europe: Status, resilience and governance. MARE Publication Series, 23. Springer: Cham. ISBN 978-3-030-37370-2. 610 pp., meer
In: MARE Publication Series. Amsterdam University Press/Springer: Amsterdam. ISSN 2212-6260; e-ISSN 2212-6279, meer
Peer reviewed article  

Beschikbaar in  Auteurs 

Author keywords
    Small-scale fisheries, Coastal fisheries, Common fishery policy, Marine spatial plan, Recreational fisheries

Auteurs  Top 
  • Verleye, T., meer
  • van Winsen, F., meer
  • Lescrauwaet, A.-K., meer

    Belgian commercial fisheries face major socio-economic and environmental challenges. The small-scale fishing fleet in particular has been affected by recent changes in the fisheries’ landscape. Small-scale fisheries in Belgium consist of small coastal commercial vessels (<70 GT) that make short trips (max 48 h) mainly in the North Sea. In 2017, the Belgian fishing fleet comprised only 14 such fishing vessels, accounting for 2% of Belgian landings. On the other hand, a substantial number of relevant, small-scale fishing vessels (<12 m) are included in the recreational fleet. Historical circumstances have likely led to a rather unique situation in which the Belgian recreational fleet includes approximately 100 beam and otter trawlers. However, about 87% of the recreational fishing fleet consists of anglers. Another legacy from the past is the complex institutional Belgian context. Jurisdiction over maritime affairs is divided between the federal state and the Flemish region. Fisheries belong to the competencies of the Flemish region, while the federal government is in charge of defining the overall rules and regulations for the Belgian part of the North Sea. A comprehensive, national marine spatial plan is now being implemented with a variety of economic, ecological, social, cultural and security objectives. Thus, small-scale fisheries are but one of many activities in the Belgian part of the North Sea. Several initiatives to promote small-scale fisheries have been launched by authorities and the private sector alike, although major challenges and risks still remain. A focused approach may alter the perspective of small-scale fisheries and potentially create new opportunities. Even though there are considerable barriers, promoting the transition from recreational vessels to small-scale commercial vessels is an appealing possibility.

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