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Community-based management of the Mediterranean coastal fisheries: Historical reminiscence or the root for new fisheries governance?

Abstract : Historical management experiences of Mediterranean community-based fisheries were particularly effective in fostering both social cohesion and sustainable utilization of coastal resources. This figure contrasts with the current status of Mediterranean fisheries, where about 90% of stocks are overexploited. The key question then is: can past experiences guide our current approach to reshaping governance in the Mediterranean fisheries? In our effort to answer this question, we analyzed the main attributes of selected fishing governance systems in the Early and Mid-Modern period and their evolution through time. We focussed on the Spanish Cofradías, the French Prud’homies and the Venetian Fraglie (Italy). They were characterized by the establishment of territorial user rights system of management and governed technical aspects of the fisheries, market access, and restrictions. Fishers and their communities, through their corporations/organizations, were directly involved in legislating and enforcing management policies and regulations/rules. This approach to fisheries management differs from the one introduced by the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), established in the late 1970s, which was mainly top-down. Despite the systematic efforts to reduce fishing capacity and pressure on marine resources and to impose severe technical and restrictive measures, Mediterranean fisheries are still in bad conditions. To cope with this situation the EU recently reformed the CFP establishing, among other things, a new paradigm that seeks to foster the harmonization of the decision-making process in the context of the so-called “regionalization” of fisheries management. However, this policy does not clearly establish a proper community-based approach and restricts participation to national fishers’ associations in the context of the Advisory Council of the Mediterranean Sea. Without effectively linking local and regional fisheries management structures by engaging fishers and re-establishing a sense of community through providing community-based rights for fishing, this new effort will likely not succeed in achieving Mediterranean fisheries sustainability. Common Fisheries Policy Cofradiaś Prud’homies Fraglie
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Submitted on : Thursday, November 29, 2018 - 5:32:11 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 10, 2022 - 3:25:41 PM

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S. Raicevich, J.-L. Alegret, Katia Frangoudes, O. Giovanardi, T. Fortibuoni. Community-based management of the Mediterranean coastal fisheries: Historical reminiscence or the root for new fisheries governance?. Regional Studies in Marine Science, 2018, 21, pp.86-93. ⟨10.1016/j.rsma.2017.10.013⟩. ⟨hal-01939803⟩



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