COFREPECHE offers an internship for its mission under the project “Study on ecosystem-based approaches applied to fisheries management under the Common Fisheries Policy for Mediterranean and the Black Seas” financed by the European Union (EASME).
Presentation of COFREPECHE
COFREPECHE (www.cofrepeche.fr) is a French consultancy company specialized in the fields of fisheries, aquaculture and Integrated Coastal Zone Management. Since its creation, COFREPECHE has implemented over 750 projects in more than 70 countries across Europe, the American continent, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. COFREPECHE works for public clients such as international development organisations including the European Union, the World Bank, the United Nations, the Millenium Challenge Corporation, the French Development Agency and the African Development Bank.
The internship will last 2 to 3 months, will possible extension.
As soon as possible – if possible 01/07/2021
Legal internship remuneration
• Bac + 4 – Bac + 5 in oceanography, marine sciences, marine politics, or equivalent
• Experience(s) in the fisheries sector, sustainable fisheries, or EAFM
• Experience in bibliography
• Good redaction skills
• Fluent in English
• Strong motivation to work on regional themes, on sustainable fishing and on the management of fish stocks;
• Current use of the Office Pack.
CV in French or English at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible
Detailed presentation of the project “Study on ecosystem-based approaches applied to fisheries management under the Common Fisheries Policy for Mediterranean and the Black Seas”
There is intensified interest in an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management (EAFM). This is due to several reasons, including attention amongst several International and Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) and scientific bodies, e.g. the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) and International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES). In addition to a general interest in including more ecosystem aspects in management, there are specific ecosystem developments that affect fisheries management, including trophic interactions and climate change that affect fisheries in complex ways that need to be accounted for. Public interest in addressing climate change and its impacts on marine ecosystems create a need to identify responses. Finally, there are the regulatory requirements, primarily under the Common Fisheries Policy, and Commission initiatives for a Blue Economy and a new Green Deal that also include fisheries and EAFM. Within the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), European Union (EU) Regulation (1380/2013)1 states that an EAFM needs to be implemented. As it is presented in this regulation, EAFM focuses on fisheries systems as a whole including biotic, abiotic and human components, including governance of ecosystems. It therefore provides an integrated framework considering the three pillars of sustainability, i.e. ecological, economic and social (including institutional). The approach potentially provides an integrated framework that captures all relevant aspects and components of the socio-ecological system at appropriate levels of complexity. Furthermore, it is required that the CFP is coherent with the objective of achieving‘good environmental status’ by 2020. This requirement for coherence recognises that the management of important ecosystem components are described in a range of policies, such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD)2, Habitat Directive3, Birds Directive4 and the specific regulation for Mediterranean Fisheries5. It is also noted that the objectives and measures relevant to attaining the targets of this environmental legislation, including related to sensitive species and vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) are included within the Technical Measures Regulation6. The GFCM Constitutive Agreement, as revised in 2014, also includes commitments towards an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management. The Agreement included the obligation to halt overfishing so as to achieve Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY), through the adoption of multi-annual plans (MAPs) based on the ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management and the implementation of the precautionary principle. Since then, a set of binding measures have been adopted in GFCM, although these have mainly been in the form of input control measures, and the majority have been poorly or not implemented at all (Vielmini, 2017).
Indeed, the challenges of implementing EAFM are complex as marine ecosystems and the fisheries they support are characterised by high uncertainty and limited data about dynamic and multivariate environments. Added to the uncertainty may be disagreement about the most appropriate course of action. This includes competing interests between different fleet segments. However, it is also recognised that the challenge of implementing an ecosystem approach extends beyond the fisheries sector. In the broader maritime policy context and interest in the development of a Blue Economy, the Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) Directive7 is intended to address the need to have the means to allocate marine space to human activities and to assess their impacts. This is to be based on overarching objectives that also include ecosystem and environmental objectives. The wider range of management objectives associated with an ecosystem-based approach means that the focus of management is broadened. Greater consideration is given to aspects such as technical and biological interactions (e.g. in mixed fisheries or between sectors), impacts of fishing on stocks, sensitive and protected species and habitats and the social and economic aspects of fishing compared with, or in combination with, other uses of marine space. While these broader aspects have been part of the CFP since 2002, it is not clear to what extent these have been addressed; the types of measures that have been introduced, and their legal and scientific basis; and the governance aspects that have created opportunities or barriers to successfully implementing an EAFM. Modelling or operationalising EAFM has been the focus of a number of EU research projects, including MAREFRAME, MEFEPO, ODEMM, CREAM, MYFISH, SOCIOEC and AQUACROSS. Integrated ecosystem assessments (IEAs) are being developed by ICES, with IEA and strategic initiative on the human dimension (SIHD) expert groups established to complement the work relevant to EAFM undertaken by other existing working groups. In the Mediterranean and Black Seas, the work of GCFM, such as the Working Group on Small-Scale and Recreational Fisheries, Working Group on Marine Protected Areas, the Working Group on Stock Assessment of Demersal and Small Pelagic species, the Working Group on the Black Sea and the actions on environment and conservation, like the Medbycatch project, will also be relevant. In this context of this intensified interest, and considerable scientific analysis of the issues and approaches to implement EAFM, the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) wishes to develop a clear understanding of the state of play with the implementation of EAFM across EU waters in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. In addition, they would like the assessment to identify how and where more progress can be achieved. Addressing this requires a rigorous systematic study of the elements of EAFM that have been implemented under the CFP to date. Given that similar studies are already underway to deliver similar results for the North Sea and Baltic Sea and for the Western Atlantic and Outermost Regions, the study should generate results that are comparable and consistent with the other studies.
Objective of the study
The objective of the study is to investigate elements of EAFM that have either already been implemented in practice or steps have been taken towards implementation under the CFP to date. The objective of the study is also to elaborate on the scientific basis of EAFM and related scientific advisory products available, whether these have been used or not. In addition, it must identify best practices, facilitating conditions and obstacles to further EAFM implementation and classify the various identified EAFM measures on the basis of their characteristics.
This study must therefore:
• Fill the knowledge gap that persists on the actual implementation of the ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management (EAFM) in the EU, based on sound scientific knowledge derived in a systematic “mapping” study.
• Investigate elements of EAFM that have either already been implemented in practice or steps have been taken towards implementation under the CFP to date.
• Elaborate on the scientific basis of EAFM and related scientific advisory products available, whether these have been used or not.
• Identify best practices, facilitating conditions and obstacles to further EAFM implementation and classify the various identified EAFM measures on the basis of their characteristics.
Given the complexity of food web interactions, large range of fisheries-species combinations and number of stakeholders that need to be included to develop, implement and evaluate EAFM, a generic methodology on how to implement the EAFM across all marine areas in the EU has not yet been developed. A clear state-of-play is needed to progress this area, to learn from the local examples and apply them elsewhere and to identify where data or knowledge gaps hamper a further implementation of EAFM.
This study will therefore provide a review of the governance structures that could contribute to EAFM by means of legislation, fisheries management plans, list the ecosystem challenges these measures are trying to achieve and describe progress achieved to address these challenges for fisheries under the CFP. Because it is addressing governance issues, it is important to consider that there may be issues, such as a lack of financial or human resources, that represent obstacles to the operationalizing of EAFM in practice. This is an important aspect and the study thus distinguishes between:
• The ecosystem challenges that need to be addressed in order to develop EAFM and which primarily involve (the knowledge of) the ecological system and
• The obstacles preventing the implementation of EAFM which occur in the social system and primarily involve the governance aspects, including the application of the ecological knowledge.
Furthermore, the study will demonstrate the scientific underpinning of the measures and implemented methods to work towards an EAFM in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Specific attention will be paid to knowledge and data gaps, progress of implementing an EAFM and illustrating best practices as a basis for recommending future steps to operationalize an EAFM.
Activities of the project
The objective of this study is to present a state-of-play on the implementation of Ecosystem-based Approaches to Fisheries Management under the CFP in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, while critically assessing the scientific underpinning of the achievements.
This study will carry out the following specific tasks:
• Task 1 – Identify the legal setting for EAFM
• Task 2 – Identify the relevant fisheries
• Task 3 – Identify and describe the ecosystem challenges addressed by an EAFM
• Task 4 – Identify and describe the EAFM measures
• Task 5 – Analyze the scientific underpinning of the EAFM measures
• Task 6 – Identify best practices for EAFM
• Task 7 – Classify and categorize the management measures
• Task 8 – Organize an expert workshop on EAFM development and implementation
• Task 9 – Synthesis: recommendations for the application of EAFM
Mission of the intern
The intern will work on Task 3 exclusively.
Task 3 – Identify and describe the ecosystem challenges addressed by an EAFM
The main objective of this task is to identify the ecosystem challenges that fisheries management needs to address in order to advance an iterative process toward a full-fledged EAFM. By identifying the challenges, this task should contribute to achieve a wide(r) range of objectives as identified in Task 1. This, for example, requires that fisheries should be considered to operate in the full marine ecosystem context which implies that any mechanism through which fisheries impacts on any aspect of the ecosystem, e.g., both target and non-target fish or shellfish species but also habitats or marine mammals as well as food-web functioning, will be considered. The results will be the basis for subsequent tasks with a crosschecked look-up table that links these challenges to specific fisheries (Task 2) for each of the ecoregions considered. Because EAFM recognizes that the fisheries are part of a social-ecological system and that exploited fish and shellfish stocks are not isolated entities, we expect biological, environmental, economic, social and institutional factors and interactions to influence short and long-term outcomes. The specific objectives of the task will be dealt with through three sub-tasks:
• Identify the ecosystem challenges addressed by EAFM;
• Characterize the scientific advice related to these challenges;
• Solicit key stakeholder opinions regarding the ecosystem challenges.
The task will involve a combination of desk-based review of scientific and grey literature regarding the ecosystem challenges. These challenges encompass the biological (including the target species and other species and habitats), social, economic and also governance in nature. The desk review will be complemented by a questionnaire-based survey of key stakeholders with knowledge and expertise related to the Mediterranean and Black Seas fisheries and ecosystems and to the management of these resources.
Sub-task 3.1 Ecosystem challenges addressed by EAFM
A review of challenges requiring a full implementation of the EAFM in the EU waters in the Mediterranean and Black Sea basins will be conducted. This will be facilitated by a review of the existing scientific and grey literature (e.g., SoMFi) with practical findings from empirical scientific studies such as MedFish and MERCES but also including ongoing initiatives to provide support to EAFM with scientific advice, e.g., from GFCM, STECF, BARCOM, CBD or FAO. The challenges involve the potential impacts of fisheries on all the different aspects and components of the ecosystem and their mitigation through management measures. These challenges involve the following categories:
• Ecosystem effects on fisheries’ resources. This includes environmental changes (e.g., driven by climate) on the target species and their catchability. We expect the EAFM to take up these challenges by implementing actions that would negate or minimize the impacts. This type of challenge includes impacts resulting from environmental changes on the target species and their catchability. In this case, the target therefore is ‘sustainable’, the ecosystem component is ‘fish target species’, and the impacting agent is ‘the environmental change’. In this example, the ecosystem challenge is defined as ‘sustainable harvest of fish being degraded by changing environmental conditions’, and the primary question framing the determinants of the literature search will be ‘how, at what scale, and to what extent is the fish affected by the changing conditions?’. In addition, the scale component searches for the spatial and time resolutions (e.g., individual, stage, population). For example, a search query here might look like (“marine habitat” OR “seafloor” OR “benthos” OR “foodwebs” etc.) AND (“fish” OR “target fish” OR “fisheries ´resources” OR “fishing opportunities”, etc.) AND (“productivity” OR “fishing mortality” OR “SSB”, etc.) combining pressures on the fisheries resources, ecosystem component states, and indicators.
• Fisheries impacts on ecosystem structure and functioning. This type of challenge includes the effect of fisheries on ecosystem components such a non-commercially exploited ecosystem components, i.e., bycatch of non-commercial fish or sensitive or protected species (e.g., marine mammals), anthropogenic noise impacts, or the physical disturbance of benthic habitats, including seagrasses and cold-water corals, and communities including biodiversity hotspots such as vulnerable habitats (VMEs). For example, the wording ‘viable habitat of fish stocks that are being impacted by degrading fishing techniques’ defines an ecosystem challenge, where the targeted status is ‘viable’, the ecosystem component is ‘habitat of fish stocks’ and the impacting agent is ‘degrading fishing techniques’. The primary question framing the determinants of the literature search might be ‘how, at what scale, to what intensity is the ecosystem components (physical habitat, benthic community, foodweb and prey availability, incidental catches) affected by the fishing?’. For example, a search query here might look like (“Fisheries” OR “Fishing” OR “physical abrasion” OR “dredging”, etc.) AND (“seafloor” OR “benthos” OR “habitat” OR “nurseries”, etc.) AND (“seagrass” OR “abundance” OR “density”, etc.) combining pressures on the ecosystem resources, ecosystem component states, and indicators.
• Influence of social, economic and governance aspects on fisheries and fisheries management. This includes misfit or legislative and institutional challenges. We expect the EAFM to take up these challenges by implementing actions that would negate or minimize such impacts. These types of challenges include misfit or legislative (link to Task 1) as well as institutional challenges. For example, good ocean governance or fisheries management can be compromised by a mismatch in scale, e.g., when changing climate impacts on the marine environment operate at time horizons that are longer than those of specific institutional processes. It is recognised that some of the fisheries involve shared stocks and the implications of fishing by EU and third country fleets will be considered where identified as significant. Socio-economic challenges could arise from fishing communities and their social fabrics related to specific fisheries impacted by a change in these fisheries’ resources or opportunities. The primary question framing the determinants of the literature search will be ‘how and to what extent are the fisheries affected by socioeconomics and the governance?’. For example, a search query here might look like (“Fisheries” OR “Fishing” OR “physical abrasion” OR “trawl”, etc.) AND (“governance” OR “legislation” OR “decision-making” OR “management”, etc.) AND (“fisheries opportunities” OR “incomes”, etc.) combining pressures on the fisheries, ecosystem component states, and indicators.
Ultimately the aim is to achieve and maintain healthy, productive and resilient ecosystems as well as viable fisheries. Potential ways to present/visualize the above three categories will be presented in the inception report.
Sub-task 3.2 Inventory of the fisheries management advice related to these challenges
For each of the challenges within the three categories we will make an inventory of the scientific knowledge currently available, including a characterization of the scientific advice related to these challenges. This inventory is based on a review of the fisheries advices from the relevant management bodies. This includes among others GFCM (coastal MS), STECF as well as ICCAT and will include the status of the scientific advice (e.g., readily available, soon to be developed, unlikely to be available in the near future). The inventory will focus on advices published since the reform of the CFP (2014) but also take into consideration relevant advices published under the previous CFP.
Sub-task 3.3 Solicit key players’ opinions on ecosystem challenges
A questionnaire survey will complement the inventory of knowledge, advice and status in Task 3.2 with opinions of key stakeholders related to the perceived key challenges and elicit further recommendations and supportive studies on whether challenges can be addressed right away because they are perceived as relevant and feasible. The target group of experts to be consulted includes relevant EU institutions and will be among key players currently leading scientific initiatives in ecosystem science studies (e.g., STECF, GCFM, research project leaders) or with expertise in natural resource management and ecosystems, institutions, and regulatory frameworks, and representatives from the fishing industry and NGOs. Selection of stakeholders will focus on those with knowledge of the challenges related to the imperfect scientific knowledge and understanding facing the level of complexity on how the fisheries affect the ecosystem and how the ecosystem affect the fisheries. Table 1 provides a summary of the kinds of stakeholders that would be invited to participate in the survey. Note that this list is a preliminary list and will be extended/adjusted depending on the specific measures which will be selected and in agreement with the client.