EU and Mauritania extend sustainable fisheries partnership

The EU and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania have agreed to extend for up to one year the protocol governing the sustainable fisheries partnership agreement which was due to expire in November 2019, as stated on worldfishing.net yesterday.

The two parties also agreed on an exceptional procedure to tackle potential border blockages during the export transportation of fresh fish caught in Mauritanian waters.

The extension will enter into force when the legislative procedures for its conclusion have been completed.

Read the whole article here.

Marine Management and Innovation – Open for enrolment

FarFish is launching a course called “Marine Management and Innovation” next year running from March 9th – 13th aimed especially at fish business operators and EU fleet representatives who want to learn more on two main topics: Laws and regulations and Value Chains. The course will take place in Tromsø, Norway, with sessions streamed in parallel in Vigo (Spain), Reykjavik (Iceland) and TBA (Sri Lanka).

The enrolment deadline is on the 15th October 2019.

The course program can be found here and the link to enrolment can be found here.

FarFish visit to Casa África

FarFish held its second annual meeting last June in Las Palmas, where all 21 project partners were represented. This meeting represented the half-way point of the project and was as such the perfect venue for reviewing progress and planning for the „second half“. A number of stakeholders from the project’s Reference Group, as well as members of the project’s External Expert Advisor Group did also attend the meeting, giving valuable input. Further information on the meeting and video recordings from the meeting are available at the FarFish FB account.

During the annual meeting, the FarFish consortium was invited to Casa África. Casa África works with the aim of promoting good understanding and trust between Spain and Africa, and strengthening Hispano-African relations through dissemination, educational and cultural activities. Casa África acts as part of the strategy for Brand Spain making known the opportunities that the African continent offers Spanish professionals, companies and investors. To fulfil this mission, Casa África supports internationalisation, mainly in the political-strategic area, of Spanish companies who already act or are interested in acting in Africa, and strengthens the collaboration between public and private agents.

Mr José Segura Clavell, Director General of Casa África, was the host during the FarFish visit and he gave good insights into the operation of Casa África. He gave an overview of the importance of Casa África in building a bridge between Africa and the EU, where both parties benefit from cooperation and collaboration in different arenas; but particular focus of Casa África is though on cultural activities, education and facilitation of economic activities between Africa and Spain.

Mr José Segura Clavell and other Casa África representatives showed great interest in the FarFish project, as it partly addresses issues relevant for Casa África. They expressed their intention to follow the project and disseminate information on it when relevant.

The FarFish project thanks Casa África and Mr José Segura Clavell for inviting us for a visit and being such wonderful hosts.

FarFish at the Workshop on Science and Industry Initiatives

From the 24-26, June, the FarFish project, represented by Sonia Doblado from the Long Distance Advisory Council (LDAC), attended the Workshop on Science and Industry Initiatives (WKSCINDI), organised by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) at their headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. The meeting was attended by 50 participants from several countries from a variety of backgrounds, including fishermen, operators, technologists, scientists and NGOs. The aim of the workshop was to provide ICES with an up to date overview on the roles that industry can play in delivering scientific information relevant to ICES advice and marine research. A roadmap was produced for measurable steps toward the inclusion and application of scientific data from industry.

An overview of the ICES work, the actual situation of the science-industry collaboration and the path that led to this workshop was given by the two co-Chairs of the workshop, Jon Elson (Cefas) and Steven Mackinson (SPFA). Special mention was made to the fact that the workshop filled the room and they have to turn applicants away, and that there was a lot of new participants in attendance. These are signs of the willingness to collaborate that exists in the fisheries community.

During the workshop, several stakeholders presented projects made possible through science-industry collaboration. The most commented were projects involved self-sampling and observer schemes, such as the Herring lottery sampling  presented by Håkon Otterå (Institute of Marine Research, Norway), the Joint Science-Industry Observer scheme (Kenny Coull, NWWAC), the industry-science partnership to the 2018 North West Atlantic Mackerel Population Assessment (Meghan Lapp, Seafreeze Ltd.) and the PFA self-sampling program (Martin Pastoors).

From the first discussion exercise, it was already agreed by the participants that the main things necessary for the inclusion and application of scientific data from industry in ICES work were:

-Standardization of data protocols (for both data collection and data management). These protocols have to be very carefully planned and designed, and industry representatives should be able to have a say.

-Constant communication: that includes feedback to the industry, and the fact that feedback should be made as soon as possible, without having to wait for official reports.  This communication could be helped by having national focal points dedicated to science-industry collaboration. It is important to note that policy makers should be included in the loop.

-Incentives. The industry is willing to collaborate, but data collection costs time and money. Incentives can be economic, but can also include the opportunity to improve the management of the fisheries of interest.

-The industry has the willingness and the capacity to collaborate to gather more and better data. It is crucial to define how can that information get into the scientific system.

-Data does not relate only to catch data (length, weight, age). The industry can gather much more, such as acoustic and oceanographic data. Scientists should create a clear strategy on how and what to collect, and on how that data is going to be used. That includes data ownership and the GDPR.

The knowledge and experiences shared in this workshop will help the FarFish project to effectively develop a self-sampling protocol as part of Work Packages 2 and 4, with the collaboration of operators and crew through the entire process (from protocol design to sampling). The protocol aims to find a cost-effective way of identifying two species of black hake (M. polli and M. senegalensis) in Mauritanian waters. It is proposed to use fin-clipping as a self-sampling method, and the molecular analysis results will then be compared with the visual identification that the crew carry out. Learn more about this aspect of the project in FarFish Deliverable 2.4.

The second annual FarFish meeting held in Las Palmas

Last week the second annual FarFish meeting took place in Las Palmas, June 10th – 13th. The project coordinator, Jónas R. Viðarsson from Matís, Iceland, led the meeting. The meeting was a perfect opportunity for partners and stakeholders to meet and review the project objectives and the work plan. This four year project is now beginning it’s second half and we have seen very good progress so far.

New FarFish course launched

A new programme in Marine Management and Innovation has now been launched and is available here. The programme was developed and provided by the FarFish project. This  course is aimed especially at fish business operators and EU fleet representatives who want to learn more on two main topics: Laws and regulations and Value Chains.

The course will be run in March 2020 in Tromsø (Norway), with parallel streamed sessions in Vigo (Spain), Reykjavik (Iceland) and TBA (Sri Lanka).

If you would like to attend the course in any of the locations, please follow this link.

The course links are also accessible on this FarFish website, under Outcomes and then Courses.

Please note that you can apply for funding to attend to the course in Tromsø.

Photo (from left): Alex Rodriguez (LDAC), Michaela Aschan (UiT), Petter Olsen (Nofima) and Ingrid Kvalvik (Nofima).

 

A part of the FarFish second annual meeting will be streamed live

The FarFish second annual meeting will take place in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, from June 10 – 13. It has been decided to have a part of the meeting available via live steaming on the FarFish Facebook page. The live streaming will take place on Wednesday the 12th of June starting at 9:00 local time (GMT+1) with the welcome address. The streaming will cover the presentations of all seven work packages of the FarFish project and is estimated to finish at 15:30 local time.

Here is a link to the FarFish Facebook page.

Introducing the work of the FarFish project at a seminar in Capo Verde

On Thursday, May 30th, a special seminar was held at INDP (Instituto Nacional de Desenvolvimento das Pescas) in Mindelo, Cabo Verde introducing the work of the FarFish project, and the research produced through the post-graduate training offered through the project.

One of FarFish’s specific objectives is “To provide education, training and dissemination to stakeholders within the value chains of EU fisheries in SFPA waters and international waters and to improve their professional skills and regional networks.” This has clearly been done with great success through strong cooperation in Cabo Verde with the INDP.

The event, entitled Seminar of presentation of the final research projects done in the ambit of the United Nations University – Fisheries Training Program (UNU-FTP) and the FarFish project is part of ongoing dissemination efforts within the FarFish project.

Two scientists employed by INDP participated in the FarFish post-graduate six-month training offered by the United Nations University Fisheries Training Programme last year. They both presented their work at the INDP seminar, which was attended by administration officials, scientists, and their colleagues.

Through the post-graduate training at the UNU-FTP, fellows are given the opportunity to work with data from home to develop research outcomes that are useful to their home institutions. The aim is to provide a space and expert guidance to create meaningful outcomes for partner organisations and in doing so, build professional and scientific competencies that will bolster the institutional capacity to create impactful fisheries science in the future.

The seminar was opened by the President of INDP, a representative from the Cabe Verdian Ministry of Maritime Economy, and the Work Package 7 (Capacity Building and Dissemination) leader from the FarFish project. The Case study leader for Cabo Verde then gave a presentation of the project to the seminar attendees.

FarFish fellow Alciany Nascimento da Luz presented her research project, entitled, TESTING METHODS TO ESTIMATE THE AGE OF BLACKSPOT PICAREL (SPICARA MELANURUS) USING OTOLITHS, FROM THE WATERS OF CAPE VERDE ISLANDS.

Alciany’s presentation was followed by the second FarFish fellow from INDO, Nuno Vieira, who presented his work entitled, STOCK ASSESSMENT AND THE INFLUENCE OF ENVIRONMENTAL PARAMETERS ON THE DISTRIBUTION OF MACKEREL SCAD (DECAPTERUS MACARELLUS) IN CABO VERDE WATERS.

Final versions of their reports will be made available on the farfish.eu website shortly.

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.