CABFISHMAN – “Conserving Atlantic Biodiversity by Supporting Innovative Small-scale Fisheries Co-management”

CABFISHMAN is an international project aimed at improving the protection of the marine environment and marine resources in the Northeast Atlantic. By engaging small-scale fisheries and facilitating a collaborative approach between stakeholders, the project seeks to establish an ecosystem-sensitive approach to management of small-scale fisheries in the area.

The project seeks to build a future for small-fisheries management where fishers work confidently alongside managers, government officials and scientists. Together, facilitating a network of healthy, diverse ecosystems and fisheries in the Atlantic. By engaging diverse groups with a stake in fisheries management the project will ensure that small-scale fisheries are included in decision making processes at all scales.

The overall scope of CABFISHMAN’s work has been divided into eight areas of activity, each led by representatives from our Steering Group and contributed to by our consortium partners. The present Shiny Tool “Small-scale Fisheries impact perceptions” shows the final outputs of the working theme “Natural Capital”.

CABFishMAN is an INTERREG Atlantic Area project funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) which promotes a transnational cooperation among 36 Atlantic regions of five European countries (France, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom).

Natural Capital - Working Team

Through the Natural Capital theme work, CABFISHMAN enables policy makers and industry representatives to operate in a way that ensures the integrity of habitats and sustainability of fishing resources in the long term, while generating significant environmental benefits to the ecosystem as a whole.

Our multidisciplinary team composed by several European partners:

Natural Capital – Objectives

Fisheries will only ever be as successful as the ecosystems in which they operate. Natural capital may – amongst other things – encompass a region’s potential for resources, employment, mitigation of climate change, recreation and culture. In accordance with CABFISHMAN’s ecosystem-based approach, this area of work seeks to evaluate the impact of small-scale fisheries on the Northeast Atlantic’s natural capital and safeguard its biodiversity.

Main objectives

  • To score and rank the fishing gears operated by small-scale fisheries in the Northeast Atlantic Area, according to the stakeholders'’ perception.
  • To identify the main impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity potentially caused by small-scale fisheries.
  • To assess the integrity of marine resources, allowing us to garner an understanding of current habitat state.
  • To produce maps detailing the present ecological impacts of small-scale fisheries perceived by stakeholders, including an outline of particular impact ‘hot spots’ and the fishing gears that represent the greatest threat to habitats.
  • To propose mitigation measures that have a solid grounding in scientific research, including assessments of relevant habitats and detailed knowledge of the needs of the fishing industry.

Natural Capital – Methodology

Due to the high complexity in the evaluation of small-scale fisheries (SSF) impacts, an innovative multi-criteria evaluation matrix was developed to assess the impacts that small-scale fishing activity has on ecosystems welfare, by involving different stakeholders (researchers, managers/administration, NGO’s and fishers/representatives of fisheries associations/producers’ organisations) to fill the matrix with their expertise, knowledge and perception, score an array of impacts potentially caused by SSF, and rank the SSF fishing gears operated in the Northeast Atlantic Area according to the Fishing Gear Impact Score (FGIS).

Full report with detailed methodology can be found here

Read more

The developed evaluation matrix comprises a considerable array of impacts:

Read more

From the sixteen evaluated impacts, seven of them were set a priori as “Red Lines” since they are considered highly sensitive types of impacts and defined as fundamental for further scoring and ranking SSF gears impacts.

The evaluation process consisted in filling the matrix by scoring the specific character of each type of impact/interaction as a function of their “frequency”, “severity (or) proportion”, and “duration” (multi-criteria). The balance among these criteria should reflect the overall intensity of each impact.

In the calculation of the FGIS, the medians of the scores for each criterion (F, S or P, and D) were used as a method of integrating the different stakeholders’ perception. The score of each impact (IS) was calculated using the following formula: IS=F*S*D and the FGIS was calculated for each fishing gear using the following formula: