Our work

In 2015 the Interreg Med project FishMPABlue1 developed an innovative series of measures for fishing governance in marine protected areas, to improve the sustainability of small-scale fishery. The project identified 11 MPAs as representative of the different features one can find in the Mediterranean basin. The FishMPABlue2 project will test this set of measures in these MPAs to demonstrate their effectiveness (from ecological, economic and social perspectives).

The FishMPABlue1 project highlighted that fish stocks are healthier, fishermen’s incomes are higher and the social acceptance of management practices is fostered (i.e. successful management of small-scale fisheries is reached) if a set of attributes is present in an MPA. Among these attributes are:

  1. high MPA enforcement,
  2. presence of a management plan,
  3. fishermen’s engagement in MPA management,
  4. fishermen are represented on the MPA board,
  5. sustainable fishing is promoted.

FishMPABlue2 will test the toolkit developed during FishMPAblue1 in the field, and assess and quantify its effectiveness in achieving expected results in terms of ecological effectiveness, benefits delivered to small-scale fisheries and social acceptance of management measures by stakeholders.

The FishMPABlue2 project will:

  • Test selected management measures in 11 Mediterranean MPAs.
  • Share results and support other Mediterranean MPAs in implementing FishMPABlue2 measures.
  • Share results with decision makers towards improving the governance of MPAs regarding small-scale fisheries.
  • Issue recommendations for national/regional/international policies.

Expected main outputs:

  • A governance toolkit which contains the feasible and effective measures resulting from testing in MPAs.
  • New concepts and procedures for enhanced cooperation between MPAs and sustainable fisheries.
  • Evaluation of the results of the activities carried out in 11 MPAs.
  • Adoption by at least 5 additional MPAs of the tested governance toolkit.

Testing will be carried out by MPA management bodies together with local small-scale fishermen (the local governance cluster) which will select the adequate measures to be tested in each site. Testing will be supported by capacity building activities for the local governance cluster and other main stakeholders (local administrations, economic actors, NGOs). The capacity building strategy will be common to all the MPAs, whereas the selection of governance tools to be tested will be based on the specific needs of each pilot site.

Monitoring will be carried out in each site following standardized procedures to assess changes in management effectiveness. This assessment model will be the point of reference for developing a stable monitoring system.

Testing outputs will be accessible to any interested stakeholder of any Mediterranean MPA. Project results will be communicated to other MPAs in the whole Mediterranean region. The governance toolkit will be able to be easily adapted by all involved in the management of small-scale fisheries in MPAs in the Mediterranean basin.

The dissemination of achievements and results will be carried out through exchange visits and regional training as well as national events. Networking between pilot MPAs and other interested MPAs, fishermen’s associations and local authorities will be ensured mainly by regional conferences, focusing on sustainable fishery in the Mediterranean region, and an online platform, to ensure long-term dialogue after the project.