Second issue of GIFS newsletter is out!

Second issue of GIFS newsletter is out!

The second issue of the GIFS newsletter is out. This newsletter aims at informing about the progress of the project. Click here for EN, NL or FR.

Peeling shrimp and oral history; young and old together, 14 and 19 November 2013, Belgium

Peeling shrimp and oral history; young and old together

Some hundred children (9-10 year old) and elderly people (living in four senior care centers at the Belgian coast) will meet with each other on 14 and 19 November 2013 within the framework of the Week of the Taste. The seniors will learn the children the tricks of peeling shrimp. Next to learning to know the skill, the youngsters will (re)discover the taste of fresh brown shrimp, a local seafood product where Belgian are traditionally very keen on. Meanwhile the seniors will tell about the old days: oral history stories of how fishing and processing of, and cooking with brown shrimp evolved over the periode of some generations. 

Read more.


Our support to small scale local fisheries

Our support to small scale local fisheries

The new Common Fisheries Policy is providing a framework to safeguard small scale fishermen’s activities and an instrument for their financial support under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. Last week the European Parliament secured a positive vote to increase investments into small scale fisheries, and e.g. provide more support to co-management projects, where small scale fishermen, researchers, civil society, administration and civil society work together.

Further information: click here

GIFS Public Meeting, 28 November 2013, Ostend, Belgium

GIFS public meeting

Click here for the programme.

Click on the titles below for the presentations:

Introduction to the GIFS project (Tim Acott, University of Greenwich)

Coastal zone governance and inshore fishing (VLIZ)

Fishing places and community (University of Greenwich)

Economy and regeneration in fishing communities (UBO)

Heritage as a source of inspiration; changing identities in Arnemuiden (Dr. G. van Keken)

Coastal zone governance and Inshore Fishing Workshop (VLIZ& University of Brighton)

The socio-cultural value of fisheries Workshop (University of Greenwich)

                 Click here for the Coastal zone governance and Inshore Fishing Workshop summary.




GIFS RESEARCH: "Invisible catch: A century of bycatch and unreported removals in sea fisheries, Belgium"

GIFS RESEARCH: "Invisible catch: A century of bycatch and unreported removals in sea fisheries, Belgium"

Total removals by Belgian fisheries from all ICES fishing areas and from the Belgian part of the North Sea from 1929 to 2010, were reconstructed by including unreported and misreported landings of the commercial fleet, unreported landings by the recreational and artisanal/subsistence fisheries and by estimating discards for the most important fisheries. The results suggest that since the 2000s, approximately 50% of all Belgian removals from its 'inshore waters' are unreported landings and discards. The unreported landings and discards are increasingly taken by non-commercial, small-scale (<12 m) vessels that are not subject to reporting and not taken into consideration in planning, monitoring and enforcement. While the present paper provides a first attempt to reconstruct historical total removals for Belgium's sea fisheries, it also addresses the gaps in data and information that need to be resolved to improve the reliability of the estimates of unaccounted removals. The reconstructed time series provides a context for the wider debate about how to move to more sustainable fisheries, what the role of small-scale fisheries are, how to achieve the agreed policy targets in Belgian marine waters and in particular in the marine areas protected under the EU Habitat and Bird directives.

This text is a summary of an academic paper in Fisheries Research, which can be found here.

MARE policy day 2013 Giving Small-Scale Fisheries a Place: The Knowledge and Governance Challenges

Heading MARE policy day 2013
MARE policy day 2013
Giving Small-Scale Fisheries a Place:
The Knowledge and Governance Challenges
Tuesday 25 June 2013, 09:00-18:00
Small-scale fisheries have a long and complex history in Europe. Nowadays they still make up a majority of the fleet in a number of countries, especially in southern Europe. Around 70,000 of the 84,000 commercial fishing vessels (83%) in Europe are below 12 meter in length and classified as belonging to small-scale fisheries (Macfadyen et al. 2011). Similar to those in other parts of the world, small-scale fishers in Europe face many challenges, like market competition, urban development, and the expansion of coastal tourism. Despite their numbers, small-scale fisheries have tended to get relatively little attention in fishery management debates. The new Common  Fisheries Policy (CFP), still under negotiation and expected to enter into force in 2014, is likely to introduce specific new measures for small-scale fisheries. That raises challenges: is there appropriate knowledge on small-scale fisheries and what governance arrangements would best achieve the policy goals?
In Asia, Africa, and Latin America, small-scale fisheries still predominate. But there too, small-scale fisheries receive little attention in policy-making even though they contribute in a major way to employment and food security. Their technologies and skills are more relevant than ever for a world that seeks a positive balance with nature.
All sorts of efforts and initiatives are required to address the current and emerging concerns related to small-scale fisheries. Building upon two ongoing research projects, this policy day focuses on two issues: knowledge and governance. GAP2’s (see purpose is to demonstrate the role and value of stakeholder driven science within the context of fisheries governance. The Too Big to Ignore (TBTI – see project aims to promote and revitalize small-scale fishing communities around the world, including  Europe. Both projects are concerned about the relative lack of information about small-scale fisheries and their communities, and strive to improve and better integrate our knowledge base into the policy process.
The policy day centres on the following questions:
  • What is the future of small-scale fisheries in Europe? And how is the new Common Fisheries Policy going to affect this sector?
  • What are the key governance challenges of small-scale fisheries in Europe today, and what further action is required to allow this sector to play its role?
  • How can better knowledge be developed with and about small-scale fisheries?
The policy day is expected to be relevant for:
  • Policy makers (EU, national governments)
  • Fisher and fisheries representatives
  • NGOs and consumer organizations
  • Natural and social scientists working on fisheries issues
For more information, please visit our website: