The study on Costs and benefits of spatial protection measures as tools for fisheries management evaluates the costs and benefits of three types of spatial protection measures
within the marine environment:
- Fish Stock Recovery Areas (FSRAs),
- Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), and
- areas designated as ‘Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures‘ (OECMs).
It also assesses how far fisheries co-management approaches
can potentially help to achieve EU targets for these spatial protection measures.
During the presentation of the study, which took place on 27 October 2022,
the authors recommended the following measures in order to strengthen the effectiveness of spatial protection measures:
- Need for government and fisher records to be made available so that community benefits and industry baselines regarding catch levels and impacts of spatial protection measures can be studied/known.
- Robust cost-benefit analyses are needed, supported by more disaggregated data to decouple whether the observed direct benefits of the FSRA and MPA reported here are the result of the spatial protection measures alone or the result of other wider management
- More funding is needed to support:
- initiatives to better explain to society the benefits derived from the spatial protection measures with the involvement of the regional fisheries,
- surveillance and enforcement or regulations in FSRAs and MPAs,
- undertake ecological and fisheries monitoring programmes, together with disaggregated social and economic data.
- MPA research and monitoring: Need to improve and complement it with stakeholder knowledge, to further enhance sustainable use of marine resources and increase buy-in in spatial protection measures.
The presentation was followed by questions from the Members and a stimulating debate.