One year into the GAP2 project, and we have made significant progress in establishing good working relationships between the GAP2 scientists and Palamos fishermen. These two groups are now collaborating both at sea and on land to jointly identify the recruitment areas and juvenile capture season for the red shrimp Aristeus antennatus, so that we can develop a long term management plan for this important fishery.
Field work has been ongoing since September 2011 and involves:
- The fortnightly collection of biological samples by observers on board a fishing vessel (so far ten trips have been conducted).
- Fishermen providing daily data on catches and haul position by completing logbooks (20 fishing vessels are providing such data).
Both of these activities will last for two years, until September 2013.
Once a fortnight, we arrange project meetings where we discuss the results of the project so far and how we intend to move forward. It is in these meetings that the fishermen’s knowledge of their fishing grounds really comes to the fore. Out of the 60-70 fishermen in the Palamos fleet, between 20 and 30 attend our meetings.
We have found that the best way for scientist and fishermen to stay in touch, is through personal contact and emails.
Over the next few months, we will continue with our activities as described above. Moreover, we will try to further engage the local administration with our work, so that the outcomes of this case study can help inform future management decisions.