Exploiting Europe’s fish supplies in a sustainable way needs cooperation from multiple agencies and sectors. The EU-funded COFASP project has brought stakeholders together to develop a research strategy for managing these vital marine resources.
Fishing around for sustainable solutions
How Europe deals with its fisheries and marine environments has long been a sticky problem. Past overfishing had caused dramatic reductions in fish stocks and potential damage to entire marine ecosystems. Since 1995 Europe has had fishing quotas, with 2015 seeing the total EU catch 7.0 % less than 10 years earlier (5.1 million tonnes of fish). But the ‘blue’ economy is important – it represents 5.4 million jobs and generates EUR 500 billion a year.
It needs a different approach says COFASP project coordinator, Niels Gøtke from the Danish Agency for Research and Higher Education, ‘In the past we used to deal with Fisheries, Aquaculture and Sea Food Processing as separate challenges. In COFASP we have taken a holistic view, to seek effective and sustainable common solutions.’