Round table on the topic “Fishery improvement project for small pelagic fish in the Adriatic” held in Zadar

WWF Adria organized the round table on the topic “Fishery improvement project for small pelagic fish in the Adriatic” on 11th and 12th January 2018 in Zadar. The participants were representatives and fishermen of the Omega 3 fisherman's cooperative, representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture; Directorate of Fisheries and Advisory Service. Moreover, representatives of international WWF offices from France and Austria were present, as well as the representative of independent consultant MacAlister Elliott & Partners that created fisheries assessment according to Marine Stewardship Council certificate requirements.

The first day of the meeting all project stakeholders introduced their work in sustainable fisheries and small pelagic fish sector in the Adriatic. The concept of FIP was introduced in details to all parties through the projects of fisheries improvement, as well as the model of co-management as one possibility of fisheries management. Afterwards, there was a presentation of the pre-assessment of small pelagic fishery in the Adriatic according to MSC certification requirements, produced by independent consultant MacAlister Elliott & Partners. This document draws attention to the main problems and advantages of small pelagic fishery. Moreover, it presents the basis for a high-quality fisheries improvement project with the aim to reach the sustainability and meet the criteria of MSC certification.

The second day of the meeting was dedicated to project action plan development. After analysis and discussion on main weaknesses and challenges of small pelagic fishery in the Adriatic, there was a discussion about potential solutions and activities in near future. A few categories considered as a key for successful project and sustainability of small pelagic fishery in Croatia were identified:

  1. Decrease of negative influence on stock while improving economic efficiency of the sector
  2. Advancement of scientific research data collection
  3. Data collection improvement of bycatch and interaction with protected species
  4. Advancement of scientific methods for fish stock assessment

The conclusion of the meeting was the agreement to create the action plan scheme till the end of February 2018. The scheme will be produced by consultant MacAlister Elliott & Partners and will be given to all project partners for a review. When the action plan is accepted by all project partners, with clear vision about project advancement, the implementation of project activities will begin.