Restoration of the Roan, a wooden fishing vessel previously operated by one of the fishermen attending the meeting. The Roan is being rebuilt as a educational display on the history of New England fishing.
- Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
- Explores and develops market-based solutions.
Building upon the successful 2005 Fisheries workshop in Del Mar, CA, (supported by the Walker Fdn.) and arising from several important initiatives that emerged among the participants of that conference, the purpose of this workshop was to advance the cause of fisheries self-governance by assembling commercial fishermen in a 2007 workshop to discuss case studies of successful management, research and marketing.
Fisheries group at tour of Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT
The workshop was convened on November 13-15, 2007. Attendents were commercial fishermen, and others working in the industry. The focus of the sessions were: The role of fishermen in governance and fisheries management; their role in collaborative research; and innovative marketing strategies.
The workshop offered an opportunity to access successful case studies and in turn, access how to apply them more broadly. The central theme that emerged from these discussions was the need to move from the existing top down mangement apprach to a more flexible bottom up design that encourages sustainablility of the resource and fishermens livelihood by creating economic efficiency.
The purpose of the grant addresses priority areas (1 and 4) to examine economic imbalances; explore and develop market based solutions, and engage end users to help stabilize the long term supply of seafood and healthy fish stocks.The timing of a second workshop is critical. First, new flexibility in national fisheries law is creating space for innovation and new opportunities for participants in the fishing industry to assume higher levels of management responsibility. Secondly, several of the fishermen-led monitoring and management projects discussed at Del Mar are coming to maturity. It is important to reinforce the messages of resource holder responsibility, market incentives, adaptive management, and independent review in this period of interpretation and adjustment to new the revised law.
As fishermen become more involved in the governance of their local fisheries, it is anticipated that they will become more sustainable, more economically profitable and will balance food supply with ecological concerns. Food supply is an important issue not only for the USA, but world-wide. The right to food initiative of FAO has become a major driver in world fisheries management.
Some key issues to be considered by the workshop:
•Allocation approaches under quota and sector management arrangements
•Quality control and niche marketing to enhance market returns
•By-catch and regulatory discard reduction strategies
•Integration of research and harvesting to improve economics and sustainability
•Small scale and state-regulated fin and shellfish fisheries management innovations
•Cost recovery and industry financing of research and management
(Check sent: 10/23/2007)