New project 'Sensible Fishing' started for IJsselmeer/Markermeer

Published on
March 3, 2021

A good, healthy fish stock in the IJsselmeer/Markermeer. That is the objective of the project 'Verstandig Vissen' (Sensible Fishing). A perspective for fish, birds and fishermen requires sustainable management of fish stocks and constructive cooperation between professional fishermen, recreational fishermen, nature organisations and scientists. Therefore, these parties will work together for three years on a new management system.

To take a step towards an economically and ecologically responsible fishery on the IJsselmeer and Markermeer, the Dutch Fishermen's Union, Bird Protection Netherlands, Sportvisserij Nederland and Stichting Transitie IJsselmeer will jointly conduct experiments on the lake and hold intensive talks with each other four times a year. During these meetings during the fishing season, everyone's wishes, ideas and practical experiences will be mapped out and overlapping projects coordinated. In this way, the stakeholders expect to come up with new insights and recommendations for sustainable fishing that can immediately be tested in practice.

Topics on the agenda of the meetings include the discussion of the amount of fish that can be fished sustainably, net mesh size, minimum size of fish and whether or not to introduce different fishery management for the IJsselmeer and the Markermeer. Measures to prevent by-catches - birds and protected fish - are also examined.

On the road to adjusting the management system

Currently, fisheries management on the IJsselmeer/Markermeer is quite complicated because many parties are involved. It is often unclear who is really responsible for policy and legislation and regulations. Firstly, Sensible Fishing should provide building blocks and experience to adjust or redesign the management system. Secondly, the 'toolbox' for the management system requires attention. Subjects such as 'what is the state of the fish stocks', the registration of catches and their control will be addressed. Finally, part of the project involves how fisheries management can be made compatible with the Water Framework Directive, nature objectives and overlapping projects such as Marker Wadden, the fish migration barrier and new projects from the Agenda IJsselmeer Region 2050.

Room for practical experiments

Each meeting will focus on the current situation surrounding the 'Sensible Fishing' project. Insights and knowledge from fishermen and experts will be brought together before and during the meetings. To stimulate innovation and share knowledge and experience, there is also room within the project for joint practical experiments by fishermen and experts.

Wageningen Marine Research supports with knowledge and network

The IJsselmeer region is undergoing change. Not only are phosphate management, the climate and the food web changing, but significant changes are also taking place in fisheries management, water management and the planning of the area. As a result, fish stocks and fishing opportunities are also changing. This requires new knowledge and innovation. Wageningen Marine Research is happy to contribute to practical research in the 'Sensible Fishing' project. Our institute also provides knowledge about fish stocks and innovative fishing techniques as well as an international scientific network for ideas and solutions.

Part of Action Plan to make IJsselmeer fisheries more sustainable

The project forms part of the Action Plan for Increasing the Sustainability of the IJsselmeer Fishery that was presented to the Lower House in 2019 by Minister Schouten of the Ministry of LNV - also on behalf of the provinces and Rijkswaterstaat. The new Sensible Fishing initiative is financially supported by the European Union, European Maritime and Fisheries Fund under the 'Science and Fisheries' programme.