Baltic and North Sea (BANS) project financed by the European Commission
Small-scale fisheries play a vital role in the European Union in terms of employment, economic and social contribution to coastal communities and sustainable management of marine resources. In line with the requirements of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy, the European Commission is particularly attentive to the situation of coastal fleets and is aware that adequate support is vital for the growth and prosperity of the sector.
It is therefore with great pleasure that the LIFE platform has become one of the beneficiaries of this initative and is now leading the project „Support measures for small-scale fishing in the Baltic and North Sea” , having as a main objective to strengthen the small-scale, low impact fishers networks in the Region.
To succeed in this vital task, local fishers’ organizations can rely on a Baltic and North Sea Coordinator with a strong background in fisheries management and policy representation, specifically employed to this end. LIFE staff are supporting, advising and coordinating small-scale fishers’ organizations and enabling effective cooperation with stakeholders from the public and private sectors. The project has already touched a number of Member States in the Region, including Poland, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Estonia.
The empowerment of small-scale fisher organizations is driven and assured within the framework of the project by focusing on several priorities:
- Building the capacity of small-scale fishers in the region so that their voices and concerns are heard and heeded in regional fora, especially the Advisory Councils;
- Collaborating regularly with small-scale fishers in the area to understand their situation, help them in identifying their needs so that they can define their common agenda & messages;
- Facilitation in building common positions and organizing joint actions;
- Encouraging small-scale fishers in the area to work together, to exchange experience and best practice;
- Keeping small-scale fishers in the area informed of the policy developments at all relevant levels;
- Advising on the solutions to the problems they face in daily operations
A number of results have already been achieved, including:
- Numerous meetings with small-scale fishers’ organizations from the area of operation to understand their situation in-depth and support them as needed, both at meetings and in subsequent contacts – with a view to creating a functioning regional network
- Active participation in numerous meetings and activities of Baltic Sea and North Sea Advisory Councils
- Assistance in a successful bid for one organization to join Baltic Sea Advisory Council
- Facilitation of 3 Member Organizations joining LIFE
- Organization of a major Workshop aimed at getting small-scale fishers acquainted with the EU Institutions and decision-making process in fisheries, the nature of Advisory Councils, European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, quota management systems and Landing Obligation (see media below)
- Production of five short tutorial films corresponding to the main topics of the Workshop described above
- Assistance in the elaboration by small-scale fishers concerned of an Action Plan for the Western Baltic cod stock in view of the 2017 ICES advice for the stock;
- Assistance in the elaboration by small-scale fishers concerned of an Action Plan for Seabass, in view of 2017 ICES advice for the stock
A mid-term review, with additional information on the initiatives, activities and outcome achieved so far will be published at the end of march 2017.