Fisheries in transition

Fisheries in transition

These are turbulent times for the fisherman. A combination of rapid developments is putting the sector under great pressure. For example, fewer fishing grounds are available due to the arrival of wind farms at sea and Natura 2000 areas that are not fishable. Brexit, the landing obligation and the ban on pulse fishing also have a major impact on the fisherman. In time, climate change will also have an impact. In order to maintain a long-term perspective, a transition in the fisheries is needed.


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Wageningen Marine Research contributes through independent scientific research to a healthy future for fisheries, biodiversity and ecosystems. We study the challenges for the fisherman and how innovation can contribute to profitable fishing methods that are less harmful to fish and benthic life. We have a statutory duty to contribute to healthy fisheries management in the Netherlands and internationally by estimating fish stocks. We conduct research into the impact of fishery on biodiversity and benthic life and work with the sector on innovations to minimise this impact. And finally, we conduct research into fish: health, behaviour and habitat.

The speed at which developments are coming to the fishing industry is unprecedented
Nathalie Steins, project manager Wageningen Marine Research

Cooperation between government, fishing industry and science

The speed with which developments are affecting the fisherman means that existing management frameworks and scientific models need to be reassessed. In our view, close cooperation between the government, the fishing industry and science is necessary for a sustainable and profitable future for the fisheries.

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