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Profiling of Small-Scale Fishing Communities in the Baltic Sea: The Case of Freest and Heiligenhafen, Germany

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Strehlow, Harry V.
Conference: Governing Shared Resources: Connecting Local Experience to Global Challenges, the Twelfth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Commons
Location: Cheltenham, England
Conf. Date: July 14-18, 2008
Date: 2008
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1908
Sector: Fisheries
Region: Europe
Subject(s): fisheries
Baltic Sea
Abstract: "Fishing regulations affect fishing operations in many different ways. Next to biological-technical effects, e.g. rebuilding of stocks and changes in fishing gear, are socioeconomic effects, e.g. employment structure or income. Performing a baseline study to identify the socioeconomics of small-scale fishing communities in the Baltic Sea is the first step to understand the likely impacts of fisheries management plans and actions. This information is also a prerequisite for policy makers to mitigate possible negative consequences on fishing communities. For a period of two weeks a pilot study was conducted visiting two study sites on the German Baltic Coast. During semi-structured interviews, observations and group discussions information of the two fishing communities was collected. "While fishermen in one community fish equally for cod, herring and flounder, the other community focuses mainly on cod as key target species. The survey revealed that the single most important issue mentioned by fishermen was the perceived strong surveillance through national authorities. On the other hand, governments on national, member states level fail to enforce existing fishery regulations and punish the fishery in other member states. The unequal distribution of authority among member states results in unequal opportunities for fishermen in the Baltic Sea fisheries. The coastal fishery sector in particular the fishery segment fishing with passive fishing gear has no lobby in Germany and is among the most vulnerable affected by fisheries management measures. It is also the interest group with the lowest income and little resilience to cope with political change. Regardless, smallscale fishing communities represent a main pillar of employment and prevent outmigration in the rural and little developed areas of the German coast. More regional specific or individual issues refer to the modality of the current European decisionmaking process, which allows little long-term forecasts to be made and thus little planning reliability for fishermen."

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