Webinar highlights advantages of better control and monitoring for small-scale fisheries

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Sciaena has organized a webinar on November 19 entitled “A new light on small-scale fisheries: benefits and opportunities of enhanced control and monitoring”, with the objective of generating a debate on the need and advantages of better control and monitoring practices for small-scale fisheries and marine resources, particularly in Portugal.

The event was organized within the context of the revision of the Fisheries Control Regulation of the EU, which creates an opportunity to improve fisheries management and enhance the economic performance of the sector through digitalization, namely the p+assing of information and monitoring. This revision process will be particularly relevant for small-scale fisheries, which represents over 64 thousand vessels in the EU and has a particularly high relevance and representativity in Portugal, being that the need to evaluate, monitor and control this sector is widely recognized, to ensure that its impacts are correctly assessed.

The webinar, which had 70 people in the audience, had a pannel of various interested parties: Miguel Gaspar, researcher at the Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA) and expert on small-scale fisheries, Francisco Portela Rosa, representing VianaPesca, Carlos Ferreira, from the Direção-Geral de Recursos Naturais, Segurança e Serviços Marítimos (DGRM), Manuel Pizarro, member of the European Parliament and of the Fisheries Commission, and Gonçalo Carvalho, Executive Coordinator at Sciaena.

Miguel Gaspar mentioned that “control in small-scale fisheries is very important to understand whether the legislation is being followed and, more importantly, to safeguard the interests of those who do follow the rules”. About the need to enhance the quality of small-scale fisheries control, MEP Manuel Pizarro stated that “it is not possible to correctly manage and take appropriate decisions without having the updated scientific knowledge about the activity. It is also of the upmost importance because it allows us to understand the impact of the decisions we take”.

The EU Control Regulation is being reviewed since 2018 and progress has been slow. In early 2021, however, major developments are expected, with the vote ni the Fisheries Commission of the European Parliament, and also discussions within the Council, which will happen under the Portuguese Presidency of the European Union. “Portugal will therefore have a decisive role in assuring that a control and monitoring system which is adequate to the 21st century is put in place.”, concluded Gonçalo Carvalho.

The event was organized in coordenation with The EU Fisheries Control Coalition, which is comprised by The Environmental Justice Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Oceana, Seas At Risk, and WWF, together with ClientEarth, The Fisheries Secretariat, Our Fish and Sciaena, having also had the support of the Portuguese Platform of Non-Governmental Organizations about Fisheries (PONG-Pesca).

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