in Europe is mainly determined by regulation of the European Commission. Communities do not play a role in decision-making. There is a urgent need for local communities to support fisheries that are successful and inspiring before this profession is extinguishes.
Across Europe, coastal-, or small scale-fishery tend to be marginalised in decision taking process. In spite of their economic and social importance in many coastal regions, European small-scale fisheries have long been overlooked and remain poorly known; yet a detailed knowledge of their structure and functioning is necessary for their contributions in environment issues. The EU is mainly only dealing with industrial fishery issues. Scientists and manager under-estimated the importance and role within coastal socio-ecosystems. Their fishing rights are not always firmly established and the competition for access to the coastal waters can be strong.
Small-scale fisheries are well represented into local and regional institutions in charge of fisheries regulation for taxation, but the are much less so at the national and European levels. This can be understood due to the local scale of their activity, but also by the fact they are poorly known by the higher decision-making levels. Yet it is estimated that they generate as much employment as large-scale fisheries, not to mention the many indirect jobs which cannot easily be distinguished from the industrial sector. If they are defined by vessel smaller than 12 m, they include 70,000 boats, which accounts to 84% of the EU's fishing fleet and provide about 100,000 direct jobs.
Failure to participate in decision-making at EU-level has a lot to do with access and representation in formal, national and/or regional organisations. The survival of coastal fisheries has been impacted by the unintended consequences of the management measures which where created to target large-scale fishery. The challenge is how to maintain flexibility and activities for coastal fisheries. A more holistic approach to integrate social aspects of social and cultural contributions of coastal fisheries.
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