During the first 12 months of GAP2, the case study has been progressing well, with scientists and fishermen working together both at sea an on land.
On land, parallel workshops were run in France and Spain, attended by many fishing masters, skippers, scientists and NGOs. The workshops’ objectives were:
- To establish good communication between different stakeholders.
- To build a common understanding of what an “ecosystem approach” to tuna fisheries would look like in practice.
- To understand the role that industry would have in shaping the future.
Supported by professional facilitators, industry and scientists discussed the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs), the bad image of purse seine fisheries and the illegal, unreported and unregulated fisheries in the Indian Ocean. The emergence of lots of common issues between the French and Spanish fishing operations has provided a possible opportunity to bring these two groups together in the future.
Greater collaboration has also been happening at sea, where fishers are working with scientists to share data collected from acoustic buoys. Scientists are trying to improve the quality of this data through calibration, to estimate the acoustic abundance of fish.