Balearic Fishermen and Conservation of Marine Ecosystems

Balearic Fishermen and Conservation of Marine Ecosystems

Balearic FishermenThe Spanish Institute of Oceanography and the Balearic Federation of Fishermen have signed an agreement of close cooperation in the Balearic Islands area. This conservation project has turned out to be one of the first of its kind. Stressing the importance of the species and natural habitat in the marine environment, this project aims to strike a fair balance between small scale fishing and the conservation of benthic ecosystems and the animals that live in them. This agreement is the result of a European research project that has allowed the IEO to propose recommendations as to how best to carry out small scale fishing. Luckily, it has had a rather positive impact on the local communities of fishermen and has been adopted voluntarily.

The Spanish Institute of Oceanography and the Federation of Fishermen in the Islas Baleares in Spain has signed an agreement that binds fishermen to stay committed to adopting the recommendations proposed by the IEO in order to ensure the healthy conservation of the seabed where fishing operations are carried out. This is an innovative conservation strategy by which the marine environment is protected through a voluntary commitment to manage resources with certain restrictions.

One of the main measures proposed by this agreement is to return the water benthic invertebrates to the same place where they were captured, which will increase the chances of survival of these species. Other suggestions that were made are to avoid catching these species or fishing in areas where fragile communities have been detected.

The recommendations have a scientific basis, of course, and have been accepted by fishermen, which has facilitated collaboration and the signing of the agreement. Marine stewardship is a conservation strategy that aims to raise awareness and encourages responsibility among the local authorities in the affected area.


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