FISH MED NET in Italy tries to gather fishermen with research and environmental organisations


1st Roundtable in Italy - December 10th, 2021


On the 10th December 2021 Legacoop, Halieus and CIHEAM Bari invited stakeholders from the public administration and universities to participate in the round table discussion “The role of fish operators for services of research, monitoring and environmental management”.

The meeting opened up welcoming the participants of seven different environmental organizations from the three regions of Liguria, Sardinia and Pulia along with the Italian partner Legacoop Agroalimentare, Halièus and CIHEAM Bari. This meeting was represented by the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche Taranto, Agenzia Regionale per la Protezione Ambientale Puglia,  University of Salento, University of Cagliari, Agrisardegna, MPA Island of Bergeggi and University of Genova.

The intent of this meeting was to analyse together the opportunities of collaboration between fishermen and organisations committed in research and environmental management. The floor was opened giving a background introduction to the FISH MED NET project and its desire to facilitate public-private partnerships among fish operators and those organisations involved in related aspects of environmental management. Participants shared their previous experiences of collaboration with fish operators within the scope of research or environmental management activities. The fishermen’ services range from support to water sampling at sea, to experimental fishing campaigns, among others. Participants outlined the main constraints met in the process of identification and contracting of fishermen for such services, such as: 

1) Difficulties in identifying the fishery operators ready to collaborate on research and environmental management operations. Many research centres rely on port authorities and  word of mouth between operators to identify them, but it is time consuming and it produce scarce/not reliable results in terms of numbers of operators identified. For other services requested by public authorities it exists an online market where all providers can register (MEPA), but fishermen have difficulties in registering there;

2) Difficulties of fishermen to participate in proper open tenders, or anyway to provide all the documentation needed for the procedures;

3) Hesitation of fishery operators to participate in researches that could lead to the elaboration of new restrictive norms on the fishing activities.

Several potential solutions emerged, as the creation of a databases of interested fishermen to be provided to potential interested research centres or organisations, or the facilitation of the registration of fishermen on the on-line market of services providers for PA mentioned above (MEPA). In all cases, it emerged that cooperatives have a main role in organising and assisting single fishermen in being able to provide those services (being able to manage all the bureaucratic procedures and being able to organise several fishermen for the services requested). 

Participants reacted positively when it was disclosed that FISH MED NET will be realizing an online platform gathering data and contacts of those fishery operators interested in realizing services for the public authorities within research or environmental management actions. This innovation would be welcome as it would ease the public organisation in outsourcing environmental related-services.


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Good reading !