The Fishn’Co project has achieved successful completion after two years of dedicated work, strengthening EU-wide cooperation in fisheries data collection. As a result of this endeavour, Regional Work Plans (RWPs) have been developed for the Regional Coordination Groups (RCGs) in the North Atlantic, North Sea and Eastern Arctic; Baltic; Large Pelagics; and Economics Issues. The four RWPs aim to enhance data quality, promote sustainable fisheries management practices, and emphasize the significance of regional cooperation in monitoring the European fisheries.
Running from January 2021 to February 2023, the Fishn’Co project brought together 13 institutes (IFREMER, CETMAR, EV ILVO, Marine Institute, WMR, IRD, AZTI, IPMA, IEO-CSIC, EAFA, NISEA, DTU & LUKE) from 11 EU Member States and a team of experts, including the chairs of RCGs and their intersessional subgroups (ISSG). The project focused on complementing the work of RCGs and ISSGs, addressing thematic areas of the EU multiannual data collection program (EU-MAP, EU Reg 2017/1004, Commission Delegated Decision 2021/1167, and Commission Implementing Decision 2021/1168).
Throughout the project, transparency and extensive consultation with stakeholders, including National Correspondents (NC), Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs), RCGs, and the EU Commission, were prioritized. This collaborative approach ensured active participation from all relevant parties in the development of the innovative concept of Regional Work Plans for the considered RCGs.
The Fishn’Co project accomplished the following milestones:
- ‘Overview of the state of play, data gaps, and needs’: This document covers ten Regional Work Plan Thematic Focus Areas and identifies gaps while presenting existing elements, approaches, and additional information required for developing Regional Work Plans.
- ‘Description of the agreed decision-making structure’: This report outlines the decision-making process for the implementation of RWPs, presenting a proposal for a general approach to decision-making structure and process for developing RWPs.
- ‘Combined Rules of Procedures’: This document combines the Rules of Procedures for RCGs Baltic Sea and North Atlantic, the North Sea and Eastern Arctic.
- ‘Report on the outputs of the National Correspondents consultation 2022 on preparing for Regional Work Plan 2025-2027’: This report presents the results of extensive consultation with EU Member States regarding the development of RWPs, highlighting main messages given by EU NCs and confidentially displaying all comments for RCG ISSG experts.
- ‘FISHN’CO – Final Publishable Report’: This document details the elements prevalent in developing RWPs during the project period, starting the story from 2017 when the RWP concepts appeared for the first time in an EU Regulation.
Fishn’Co accomplished the drafting of four RWP in collaboration with RCGs NANSEA, Baltic, Large Pelagics and ECON as well as all expected deliverables. In addition, the Fishn´Co project planned for a successful handover of its results and the work done and achieved by Fishn´Co continues intersessionally through the ISSG on Development of Regional Work Plans, with the aim to submit RWPs in October 2023.
The availability of these final reports on the project’s website enables stakeholders and interested parties to access essential information on the development of RWPs for the Regional Coordination Groups.. With the help of Fishn’Co and its alter ego Streamline for the Mediterranean and Black Sea, Regional Work Plans have proved to be an essential tool for international coordination of fisheries monitoring and it is expected that their importance is set to increase in the future.
For further information and to access the reports, visit Fishn’Co Website.