First FarFish UNUFTP students

On March 12, 2019, the United Nations University Fisheries Training Programme celebrated the graduation of its 21st cohort of research fellows participating in the annual six-month post-graduate training in Iceland. This year, UNU-FTP was pleased to welcome two fellows from Cabo Verde as part of its work relating to capacity building within the FarFish project. Both research fellows were selected through the FarFish training needs assessment work conducted at Instituto Nacional de Desenvolvimento das Pescas (INDP) in Mindelo, Cabo Verde last year. Through the training needs assessments at INDP, it was established that stock assessment was a priority area for building institutional capacity, and both fellows specialised on that line of study while in Iceland.

One of the UNU-FTP fellows from INDP selected to participate in the six-month training was Mr. Nuno Vieira. Nuno is a biologist and ocean specialist with the INDP and the Ocean Science Centre of Mindelo (OSCM). His research with the UNU-FTP related to a recent decline in the stock of mackerel scad, a small pelagic fish with significant economic importance to the Cabo Verdean economy. Nuno‘s study aimed to determine if the decline in catches in recent years could be better attributed to fishing pressure or environmental factors. The results of his research will have clear implications on how the stock is managed in the future.

Nuno is now ready to return to Cabo Verde and apply new knowledge and expertise in his work with the stock assessment unit of INDP in Mindelo.

Below is the abstract from Nuno’s work. The full text will be made available shortly on the UNU-FTP and FarFish websites.

ABSTRACT

Fisheries are one of the most important economic activities in Cabo Verde, employing 8,600 people, representing 4 % of the economically active population. The fisheries in Cabo Verdean waters are divided into two components: artisanal and industrial. The small pelagic and the tuna fisheries are some of the most important fisheries in Cabo Verde. Of the small pelagic, the mackerel scad has social and economic importance and it is used as bait, food and in the canning industry. Official landing data from INDP during the period from 1989 to 2015 indicates that mackerel scad made up almost 40 % of Cabe Verdean total catches at the peak of its fishery in 1997 and 1998. After this peak the catch has decreased significantly, especially in the last six years, representing only 6.6 % of the landing in 2015 an amount of 642 tonnes.

The main goal of this study was to assess if the fluctuations and recent decline in mackerel scad catch in Cape Verdeans waters are caused by harvesting or by changes in environmental parameters. The data analysed was provided by reconstructed catch data during the time frame 1950 to 2014 from the research initiative Sea Around Us, official landing and effort data from INDP over the period from 1989 to 2015, biological data from INDP over the period 1989 to 2018, and in addition, sea surface temperature and chlorophyll-a from satellite observation.

The growth parameters K and L∞, the recruitment pattern and the total mortality were computed in the software FISAT II, the biomass was estimated by the Shaefer model using

First FarFish UNUFTP students graduated this week

On March 12, 2019, the United Nations University Fisheries Training Programme celebrated the graduation of its 21st cohort of research fellows participating in the annual six-month post-graduate training in Iceland. This year, UNU-FTP was pleased to welcome two fellows from Cabo Verde as part of its work relating to capacity building within the FarFish project. Both research fellows were selected through the FarFish training needs assessment work conducted at Instituto Nacional de Desenvolvimento das Pescas (INDP) in Mindelo, Cabo Verde last year. Through the training needs assessments at INDP, it was established that stock assessment was a priority area for building institutional capacity, and both fellows specialised on that line of study while in Iceland.

One of the UNU-FTP fellows from INDP selected to participate in the six-month training was Ms. Alicainy da Luz. Alciany is a marine biologist working at INDP in Mindelo. Her research conducted through the UNU-FTP related to the creation of an age-length key for the blackspot picarel, an important species in the artisanal sector in Cabo Verde. Though INDP had collected otoliths from the blackspot picarel for several years, these samples had never been analysed. Alciany took on the ambitious task to analyse otoliths from 134 specimens and along the way, create a procedure which will guide the ageing of similar samples in the future.

Now that Alicainy has successfully completed the training, she will return to Cabo Verde and INDP, where she is better equipped to contribute new scientific knowledge to the institution’s stock assessment unit.

Below is the abstract from Alciany’s work. The full text will be made available shortly on the UNU-FTP and FarFish websites.

FarFish project involved in high-level event in Cabo Verde | Our Atlantic Ocean for Growth and Well-Being

The European Commission and the government of Cabo Verde are hosting a high-level event in Cabo Verde that is titled “Our Atlantic Ocean for Growth and Well-Being”. The event is taking place today and tomorrow, November 22, in the Ocean Science Centre in Mindelo on the island of São Vicente, Cabo Verde.

A highlight of the event will see European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas co-sign, on behalf of the European Commission, a Cooperation Arrangement on Marine Research and Innovation Cooperation with Deputy Prime Minister Olavo Correia on behalf of the Government of Cabo Verde, which recognises marine research as a top priority for our international cooperation.

Another highlight of the event will be a keynote address by H.E. Lisa Svennson, Ambassador for Oceans, Sea and Freshwater, Director & Coordinator Marine and Coastal Ecosystems Branch, United Nations Environment Programme.

The event is organised into series of plenary sessions, presentations and panel discussions, which include highlighting of the most relevant projects and national initiatives.

The FarFish project is honoured to have significant contribution to the agenda, where three of the project partners will take part i.e. INDPMatís and UNU-FTP

The agenda is available here.

RosaChapel

What does FarFish mean for Spanish and other European fisheries stakeholders?

Rosa Chapela Pérez, coordinator at CETMAR, talks about the importance of the FarFish project for stakeholders in Spain and in Europe. In her interview she discusses, among other things, how FarFish is “……creating a platform where every agent in the fisheries sector from catching to marketing may find a common place to participate, debate and express their needs when developing international fisheries agreements. It is a great opportunity and the FarFish project is at a suitable moment, when the CFP may be negotiated again and a new debate will be opened to discuss about the CFP foreign policy. The Farfish project through the stakeholder platform will give voice to fishermen, associations, NGOs, traders and processors to let them speak out about the content, the structure of the fisheries agreements and so on.

 

Prof Jilong LI

China Distant Water Fishing

During the Case Study meeting in the FarFish project, held in Vigo, Spain last June, real good talks took place between different stakeholders. One of the presentation held was a breakthrough in the dialogue that must take place between China and Europe on the distant water fishing, or fishing in the high-seas, in order to make fisheries in international waters more sustainable. Held by Prof Jilong LI at the Resource and Ecology Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, the presentation shed a great light into the Chinese fisheries sector, especially the part that does their fishing in international waters.

Below you will find a pdf version of Prof Jilong LI presentation and at the FarFish Facebook page, you can listen to his presentation (begins right after Alexandre Rodriguez’s presentation).

The pdf version of Prof Jilong LI presentation

Prof Jilong LI presentation on Facebook (video in low resolution):

Ambassador of Mauritania with UNU-FTP staff

FarFish partner meets with the Mauritanian Ambassador

On August 29, 2018, UNU-FTP recieved a visit from the Mauritanian Ambassador, the honourable Abdallahi Bah Nagi Kebd. During the meeting, we discussed our ongoing work in Mauritania in connection with the FarFish project, funded through the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, as well as future potential for collaboration on issues related to capacity building for fisheries management and development in Mauritania, as can be read from the UNU-FTP’s web site.

China EU flags

EU and China sign landmark partnership on oceans

Last month, the EU announced the signing of a landmark partnership with China. “Two of the world’s largest ocean economies will work together to improve the international governance of the oceans in all its aspects, including by combating illegal fishing and promoting a sustainable blue economy”, says in an announcement on the EU Commission’s web site.

This is directly related to the FarFish project as main topics of the projects relate to sustainable utilization of the blue bioeconomy in the South-Atlantic ocean and in international waters.

For additional information, please see the EU announcement.

Diving into Case Studies; Tales from FarFish Training Needs Assessment Visits

Last November, I had the great privilege to visit Mauritania for the first time. I was there to conduct a training needs assessment in connection with the FarFish project. Our plan included a week of meetings with scientists and administrators at IMROP (Institut Mauritanien De Recherches Océanographiques Et De Pêches), who are partners in the FarFish work. Over the course of our discussions with IMROP staff, and through visits to processing facilities and landing sites, we gained valuable insight to the development of fisheries in Mauritania and how FarFish may contribute to the sustainable use of the resources.

The IMROP offices are located just outside the town of Nouadhibou.  The town sits on a peninsula in the north of the country. A rough line down the peninsula marks the border between Mauritania and the disputed territory of Western Sahara. A brief, bumpy ride through the dessert and off the main road leads to the IMROP campus, which consists of a collection of buildings, offices and laboratories right next to the ocean. Behind the walls of the compound are trees and lush greenery, which makes the place feel like an oasis in an otherwise barren sandy desert.

The days in Mauritania were spent at the IMROP facilities learning about the work that goes on there, and how it gets done. As I sipped the sweet tea and struggled to remember my high school French, the IMROP scientists took us though the major developments in Mauritanian fishing in recent years, and the efforts the institution has made to keep up. Fishing is a huge industry in Mauritania, and IMROP has made considerable investment in its scientists, sending many of them abroad for doctoral studies in recent years. A 2012 policy to extend the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) has led to significant shifts in the structure of the fisheries, which has impacted life for Mauritanian and foreign operators.

One afternoon, we took a drive to an industrial part of Nouadhibou, where a recent boom in fishmeal processing is evidenced by a long road of new buildings all dedicated to producing fishmeal. The view of the government is that this is a step on the road towards producing more fish for human consumption. On the streets of Nouadhibou, it is easy to see the role the fishing industry plays in the daily life of the city. The mixing currents off the coast of Mauritania form a rich upwelling system, the restaurants of Nouadhibou are a diverse mix of people from North Africa, West Africa, Asia and Europe.

My favourite part of the visit to Mauritania was seeing an artisanal landing site. Our guide was an IMROP data collector, who was friendly, knowledgeable, and eager to share his expertise. He showed us an artisanal port in Nouadhibou, full of boats unloading their catches. We toured a building that serves as a market for larger and more valuable artisanal catch, as well as acres and acres of drying areas for fish, sharks, skates, and roe that was to be sold at regional markets.

Mary Frances Davidson
UNU-FTP and Work Package 7 leader in FarFish