GAP2 in Gothenburg: Presenting at SwAM

GAP2 natural scientists Alfred Sandström and Petter Hölm, alongside two colleagues, recently presented a seminar at the Swedish Agency for Water and Marine Management (SwAM) in Gothenburg. Here, Alfred offers us a round-up of the day’s presentations and events. 

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Petter Holm, Alfred Sandström and Michael Bergström (Count adm. board Jönköping) and invited speaker Sebastian Linke (Gothenburg University)bild


About 40 people. Politicians, researchers, fisheries organizations (commercial and recreational), regional and national authorities (as expected, the latter dominated the crowd).

Why a seminar at SwAM?

We (in the Swedish case-study) have felt a slight difficulty reaching the main policy makers at the national level in Sweden. This seminar was a first step to reach this important target group.


Petter Holm – “Connecting Science and stakeholders: GAP2 project presentation”

Petter gave a really nice overview of the project. He began with the background of the project and described concepts like “closed politics” and the problems associated to the “ethos” of science that used to characterize fisheries governance in the past. He continued with describing the present tendencies of “the gap being bridged”. The different case-studies were highlighted, particularly the cases in Norway, Netherlands and Spain-Catalonia. He concluded that: “It is questionable whether governance without inclusion even is legitimate”.

Sebastian Linke –  “The responsibility of fisheries in management”

He gave a short overview of the topics he explores in his research. Particularly the role of the RACs and the perception of fisheries issues of the public. He gave some very colorful comparisons in my opinion – comparing traffic rules and fisheries and ICES assessment with the Vatican’s election of a new pope to mention a few.

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Alfred Sandström & Michael Bergström – “Collaborative approaches benefiting small-scale fisheries – the lake Vättern case-study”

This presentation was focused on small-scale fisheries and the application of the project ideas on such fisheries with the Lake Vättern case-study as the main example. The presentation (hopefully) gave some perspectives on the governance of small-scale fisheries and the importance of a collaborative approach. Naturally we also focused a lot on the specific results from Lake Vättern and the working processes in this case-study. As famous last words we both gave our personal reflections of what it is has meant for us to be part in a science-stakeholder collaboration.


The seminar ended in a relatively intense discussion session. The main topics were the perception of scientific advice, regionalization of EU fisheries, the development of the RAC:s, co-management and the dilemmas occurring when managing small-scale fisheries. The GAP2 presenters also asked the audience to reflect upon their different roles in the governance process and to communicate their thoughts about the project which brought forward some interesting thoughts. My personal feeling after listening to the participants after the seminar was that most people felt it was inspiring and interesting and I hope we gave the policy makers at SWaM some GAP2-faces to remember and I also think that we were able to communicate our story in a nice way.

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