After two successful meetings in Blanes and Sant Carles de la Ràpita, Catalonia, earlier this year to introduce the MINOUW project to local stakeholders, the MINOUW team started the first round of stakeholder workshops in the two ports on the 3rd July and the 10th July.
“The workshops were attended by many fishers and supported by the presence of the Director General for Fisheries of Catalonia and fishermen representatives. There is a genuine commitment from the fishing industry to become part of the solution to the discards problem. We are very happy about this success and really feel we are on the right track towards more sustainable fisheries in the region”, said Dr Sergi Tudela, WWF.
The work in Blanes is aimed at improving the selectivity of the local bottom trawling fleet while in Sant Carles de la Ràpita it addresses small scale net fisheries. These fleets in Catalonia account for a total of 260 and 440 vessels, respectively.
Blanes is located some 70 km North of Barcelona and fishing activity there benefits from the presence of an important submarine canyon. Sant Carles de la Ràpita is at some 150 km south of Barcelona, and fishing fleets exploit the rich fishing grounds associated to the delta of the Ebre River.
A series of multi-stakeholder participatory workshops will be developed along one year period on both ports to first make a diagnostic on the situation of unwanted catches and discards, then design and agree on workable solutions to test at sea the following year. Besides, scientists will work with fishers to conduct some relevant field studies. Other relevant issues to be addressed are the design of fishers-based data collection schemes and the generation of feedback to the EU to better fine-tune the implementation of the new landing obligation rules.