The maritime zones situated in the Channel & North Sea are vitally important to the fishing industry that is facing significant changes and challenges. The GIFS project aims to explore the socio-economic and cultural importance of inshore fishing and to provide a pilot project in fisheries-based community regeneration. The goal is to incorporate these factors far more clearly into fisheries and maritime policies, coastal regeneration strategies and sustainable community development.
The GIFS project will develop a test bed for both policy makers and local planners (in Arnemuiden, NL) throughout the common priority area using maritime and fishing heritage as a conduit for regeneration, community identity and the development of new economic opportunities.
An innovative aspect of the project will be to use media such as photographs, oral accounts and fish-related festivals. By exploring the 3 themes of governance, geography and economy, GIFS will compile and document the characteristics of inshore fishing in order to help create a sense of place for the region and provide a snapshot of life in diverse fishing places at the start of the 21st century.
What are the key results of the project?
GIFS hopes to achieve the following outputs:
1. Geography of inshore fishing toolkit: GIFS will develop a Toolkit for both policy makers and local planners, providing methods for capturing the broad value of fishing.
2. A Geography of inshore fishing document: By exploring the 3 themes of governance, place and economy GIFS will write a geography of inshore fishing that will help to create a sense of place for the region & provide a snapshot of life in diverse fishing places at the start of the 21st century
3. Photographic / audio record offered to communities: As a lasting legacy of the project communities (museums, libraries, online etc.) will be offered access to visual and audio records
4. Academic papers, scholarly research, conference presentations, reports, successful PhD completions etc.
5. Development of demonstration project in Arnemuiden as an example of a shared heritage- including fishing festivals and renovation of traditional fishing boat.
Are all partners and territories benefitting from the results?
These include policy makers, industry, communities and project partners. The universities, research institutes and local authorities involved in the project as partners will benefit through knowledge exchange and experience of interdisciplinary working.
In the long term the ultimate beneficiaries of the work will be the fishing places and communities in which the research is carried out.
Benefits to territory:
First, the outputs of the project will have direct relevance for policy makers in informing the development of policy and strategies for managing fisheries and coastal regions, including economic development and coastal planning. the project will involve industry through the stakeholder meetings to ensure that the outputs have practical and applied relevance. Third, the project will draw out the views of people living in fishing places to facilitate the sharing of best practice and to increase recognition in policy making circles.
What are the effects / outcomes for the territories involved?
European marine fishing policy has focused on biological and economic objectives with less emphasis on understanding the socio-cultural impacts of fishing. There is a clear demand for evidence-based research on social/cultural aspects to inform European and national policy development. GIFS addresses these gaps through: the creation of decision making tools to help policy makers; community engagement programmes exploring and documenting cultural impacts of fishing; helping people (policy makers, elected representatives and communities) to understand the socio-economic issues associated with inshore marine fishing; developing opportunities for tourism development and other fishing related economic regeneration activities.The community in Arnemuiden will benefit from the programme of economic regeneration. However, the final beneficiaries will be communities across the whole of the common priority area as knowledge exchange takes place with other fishing places and policy makers.