One year into the project, and significant progress has been made both at sea and on land.
At sea, field activities began in late April 2012. Samplers aboard seven otter trawl fishing vessels and two rapido trawlers based in Chioggia Port (NE Italy) have been to sea 10 times over the past two months – collecting data to describe commercial and non commercial catches.
On land, we’ve been interviewing fishermen involved in the project and then relaying the outcomes of their interviews at joint monthly meetings. We’ve also been using these meetings to update one another on common knowledge (including the latest data), plans and schedules.
Contact through such meetings, as well as the social media platform Facebook, has facilitated good communication between researchers and fishermen. Fishermen are now enthusiastic participants in this process, showing a keen interest in not only the fishery, but also their role within GAP2. This is crucial at a time when the fishery is under pressure, facing very low catches, causing many fishermen to question their livelihoods.