Peer-reviewed articles

Development of a responsive fisheries management system for the Portuguese crustacean bottom trawl fishery: Lessons learned.


Jónas Rúnar Viðarsson

Director of Business and Development

Authors: Cristina Silva, Hugo Mendes, Mafalda Rangel, Laura Wise, KarimErzini, Maria deFátima Borges, Marta Ballesteros, Jose Luis Santiago, Aida Campos, Jonas Viðarsson, Kåre N. Nielsen.

Version: Marine Policy

Publication year: 2015


A prototype for a Responsive Fisheries Management System (RFMS) was developed in the context of the European FP7 project EcoFishMan and tested on the Portuguese crustacean trawl fishery. Building on Results Based Management principles, RFMS involves the definition of specific and measurable objectives for a fishery by the relevant authorities but allows resource users the freedom to find ways to achieve the objectives and to provide adequate documentation. Taking into account the main goals of the new Common Fisheries Policy, such as sustainable utilization of the resources, end of discards and unwanted catches, a management plan for the Portuguese crustacean trawl fishery was developed in cooperation with the fishing industry, following the process and design laid out in the RFMS concept. The plan considers biological, social and economic goals and assigns a responsibility for increased data collection to the resource users. The performance of the plan with regard to selected indicators was evaluated through simulations. In this paper the process towards a RFMS is described and the lessons learned from the interaction with stakeholders in the development of an alternative management plan are discussed.