Making the European Fisheries Ecosystem Plan Operational (MEFEPO)

This project aims to make the institutional framework Fisheries Ecosystem Plan suitable for an ecosystem approach in fisheries management. The project is therefore called Making the European Fisheries Ecosystem Operational Plan (MEFEPO).

The current fisheries management is still focused on individual species: single species assessment. Not only that one species, but the whole ecosystem is important for good management. Therefore, an ecosystem approach to fisheries management is a good option.

There is already a Fisheries Ecosystem Plan developed for the North Sea. In this project, IMARES will make this plan suitable for use in fisheries management. Since frameworks like Common Fisheries Policy and Marine Strategy commit to an ecosystem approach in fisheries, the Dutch Ministry is in great need for knowledge that contributes to the operationalization of this ecosystem approach.

A first series of workshops was organised to focus on the preferences of stakeholders in choosing the right management. A second series of workshops aimed at identifying possible barriers to operationalising an ecosystem approach to fisheries management. Finally, concrete proposals are developed for four specific fisheries in each of the RAC regions for how an ecosystem approach to fisheries might look like. Reports of these activities are completed and available.