Policy Day 2013

Giving Small-Scale Fisheries a Place:
Knowledge and Governance Challenges

Tuesday 25 June 2013, 09:00-18:00

Organized by:

Centre for Maritime Research (MARE), IMARES – Wageningen UR, GAP2 and the Too Big To Ignore project

Confirmed Speakers

Prof. David Symes will give a keynote lecture on the definition of small-scale fisheries knowledge and governance challenges in Europe and beyond.

Dr. Steve Mackinson, coordinator of GAP1 and GAP2 projects and member of CEFAS (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, UK), will present an overview of a GAP2 case study on the role of multiple stakeholders in research and governance on fisheries and the marine environment.

Dr. Ratana Chuenpagdee, principal investigator of the Too Big To Ignore research network, will discuss transdisciplinarity in small-scale fisheries research.

Jaap Vegter is coordinator of Stichting Geïntegreerde Visserij and a fisherman himself. He will give a lecture on the practices of small-scale fishing in the Netherlands and on the connection between small-scale fishing, sustainability and local economy.

Programme Information

Small-scale fisheries have a long and complex history in Europe. Nowadays they still make up a majority of the fleet in a number of countries, especially in southern Europe. Around 70,000 of the 84,000 commercial fishing vessels (83%) in Europe are below 12 meter in length and classified as belonging to small-scale fisheries (Macfadyen et al. 2011). Similar to those in other parts of the world, small-scale fishers in Europe face many challenges, like market competition, urban development, and the expansion of coastal tourism. Despite their numbers, small-scale fisheries have tended to get relatively little attention in fishery management debates. The new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), still under negotiation and expected to enter into force in 2014, is likely to introduce specific new measures for small-scale fisheries. That raises challenges: is there appropriate knowledge on small-scale fisheries and what governance arrangements would best achieve the policy goals?

In Asia, Africa, and Latin America, small-scale fisheries still predominate. But there too, small-scale fisheries receive little attention in policy-making even though they contribute in a major way to employment and food security. Their technologies and skills are more relevant than ever for a world that seeks a positive balance with nature.

All sorts of efforts and initiatives are required to address the current and emerging concerns related to small-scale fisheries. Building upon two ongoing research projects, this policy day focuses on two issues: knowledge and governance. GAP2’s (see www.gap2.eu) purpose is to demonstrate the role and value of stakeholder driven science within the context of fisheries governance. The Too Big to Ignore (TBTI – see http://toobigtoignore.net/) project aims to promote and revitalize small-scale fishing communities around the world, including Europe. Both projects are concerned about the relative lack of information about small-scale fisheries and their communities, and strive to improve and better integrate our knowledge base into the policy process.

The policy day centres on the following questions:

  • What is the future of small-scale fisheries in Europe? And how is the new Common Fisheries Policy going to affect this sector?
  • What are the key governance challenges of small-scale fisheries in Europe today, and what further action is required to allow this sector to play its role?
  • How can better knowledge be developed with and about small-scale fisheries?

The policy day is expected to be relevant for:

  • Policy makers (EU, national governments)
  • Fisher and fisheries representatives
  • NGOs and consumer organizations
  • Natural and social scientists working on fisheries issues

Costs (Including lunch, coffee, drinks after):

€ 100,00 per person

Fishermen and fisheries representatives can obtain a fee reduction of 50%, which can be requested to mareconference-gpio@uva.nl after registration. Only the first 10 applicants can obtain such discount. In case of a valid request, 50% of the total registration fee (€ 100,00) will be repaid.


Registration is now closed.


Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen (KIT)
Mauritskade 63
1092 AD Amsterdam


For practical information, please contact:

Eva Fillipi
Plantage Muidergracht 14-16
1018 TV Amsterdam