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Ecosystem-Based MSP for Enhanced Fisheries Sustainability: An Example from the Northern Adriatic

Sustainability

Abstract:

Human pressures on marine ecosystems significantly increased during last decades. Among the intense anthropic activities, industrial fisheries have caused the alteration of habitats, the reduction of biodiversity and the main fish stocks. The aim of this research, carried out in the Adriatic Sea, was to test a repeatable Marine Spatial Planning framework aimed at enhancing fisheries sustainability through the application of Decision Support Tools and the composition of a catalog of possible measures. The use of these tools proved very useful to identify possible criticalities and facilitate an effective exchange with fisheries stakeholders, local authorities, and fishermen, whose involvement was an indispensable step in the process. Tool-based analyses allowed to assess the spatial footprint of a range of anthropogenic pressures from human activities (e.g., fisheries, maritime traffic, and aquaculture). Within this multi-pressure scenario, special attention was paid to fishing-related disturbances and potential conflicts across different fishing métier and with other sectors. Specifically, results highlighted the spatial features of the major fishing pressures (e.g., abrasion from trawling) affecting essential fish habitats, marine mammals and turtles in the study area. A portfolio of possible management measures is identified for the study area. It provides clear evidence that, in order to mitigate emerging conflicts and cumulative impacts, it is necessary to combine and integrate different types of measures: spatial measures modulated over time, monitoring and control, actions to fill knowledge gaps, concertation—involvement—co-management actions, improvement of governance systems, actions to support innovation in the sector, etc. Given the complex set of measures discussed, this work can provide a useful contribution to the management of fisheries both at local and regional level, fostering the transition to sustainable fisheries.

Country:
Application in MSP:
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Type of Issue:
Type of practice:
Stage of MSP cycle:
Cross-border / trans-national aspect:
No
Coherence with other processes:
Key words:

Questions this practice may help answer:

  • How do the MSP processes for the management of fishing activities allow the uses in the study area, Chioggia, to coexistence?
  • How do Decision Support Tools enhance fisheries sustainability ?

Implementation Context:

This study was drafted in a context where human pressures on marine ecosystems has increased significantly over the last few decades.

Aspects / Objectives:

The aim of this research, carried out in the Adriatic Sea, was to test a repeatable Marine Spatial Planning framework aimed at enhancing fisheries sustainability through the application of Decision Support Tools and the compilation of a catalogue of possible measures.

Method:

Tool-based analyses allowed the spatial footprint of a range of anthropogenic pressures from human activities (e.g., fisheries, maritime traffic, and aquaculture) to be assessed. Within this multi-pressure scenario, special attention was paid to fishing related disturbances and potential conflicts across different fishing professions and with other sectors.

Main Outputs / Results:

The results of this research show how the use of conceptual, scientific and legal MSP processes for the management of fishing activities in the Chioggia region enhances their coexistence with the other uses of the sea and with all the existing area-based conservation measures (e.g., Natura 2000 Sites), while at the same time trying to achieve Good Environmental Status targets and safeguarding the fishing traditions of local communities.

Transferability:

This work can contribute to the management of fisheries both at local and regional levels, fostering the transition to sustainable fisheries.

Responsible Entity:

National Research Council (CNR), Institute of Marine Sciences (ISMAR), 30122 Venice, Italy.

Funding Source:

This research was funded within the Action Plan of the FLAG GAC Chioggia Delta del Po 2014/2020, Objective 3, Specific object 5.A, Action 5.B.

Contact person:

Giulio Farella: guilio.farellaatve.ismar.cnr.it (guilio[dot]farella[at]ve[dot]ismar[dot]cnr[dot]it)