News & Events

Better Small-Scale Fishing Management Needed to Fight IUU Fishing

The head of CLS’ Fisheries Division, Michel Dejean, was recently interviewed by Undercurrent News about traditional fishers, highlighting the ways we need to think differently if we want to to include them in sustainable fisheries management programs. Below is a short excerpt of the interview. 

Small-scale fisheries (SSF) account for over half of the global catch and 95% of the world’s fisheries, but are also responsible for the great majority of the unregulated catch, said Michel Dejean, the director of CLS’ fisheries division since 2018, in a comment to Undercurrent News.

“As a result, there is a growing push to include them in fisheries management to understand how much is caught, which species and where,” he says. “But for many reasons, the approaches currently used to regulate large-scale industrial fisheries are simply not going to work for SSFs.”

He states that the everyday work of SSFs differs considerably from industrial fishing since they are extremely diverse and numerous. Large-scale fishing fleets apply more sophisticated methods and techniques, using expensive tracking technology that very few traditional fishers can afford…

“The economic model for SSFs, therefore, must be different and the technology made affordable,” Dejean said.

The EU has prioritized the tracking of SSF vessels in a joint effort to ensure the future and the sustainability of fisheries. The European project STARFISH 4.0, in which CLS is the coordinator, is an example of this approach in practice. The project is a demonstration of a solar hybrid tracking device and digital tools for the safety of artisanal fishermen and sustainable management of SSFs….

Europe chose this project precisely because it is participatory, building a culture of compliance among traditional fishers before regulation,” Dejean explains. “Fishing communities, CLS, local partners, and fishermens’ associations will all work together to develop a system that has value for fishermen.”

Read the full interview in Undercurrent News, January 20, 2020