Transition fishery IJsselmeer, Markermeer, IJmeer

Over the past ten years, the fish stock of the IJsselmeer has declined sharply as a result of overfishing by commercial fishing on the lake. Attempts to reduce the intensity of this fishery have so far not been successful. However, the transition to more sustainable fishing is mandatory in order to comply with European and national legislation.

Transition to sustainable fishing

Commissioned by the province of Friesland, Witteveen+Bos made an evaluation of the most important factors that prevent a successful transition to sustainable fishing within the framework of the applicable regulations and conditions. Witteveen+Bos worked together with LEI (Wageningen UR) and the provinces of Friesland, Flevoland and North Holland.

The first phase of the project focused on the analysis and description of the current situation. This phase included a description of the current system for regulating the fishery and the role of the various stakeholders. A factual description was then made of the developments in the fish stock of the IJsselmeer. The results have shown that fish stocks continue to decline.

In the next phase of the project, an inventory was made of the driving factors required for a transition to sustainable fishing. These factors include the Dutch Fisheries Act, the European Eel Directive, the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive (Natura 2000), the European Water Framework Directive and the economic situation of the fishery. As part of the inventory, an analysis was made of the economic situation of the fishing companies on the IJsselmeer by means of interviews and consulting the financial records of a selection of these companies.

In the final phase of the project an analysis was made of the most important aspects responsible for the current overexploitation and which hamper the transition to a more sustainable fishery. The most important stakeholders and processes have been identified for this purpose. This showed that there are conflicts between the different legislations regarding the allowable fishing intensity. It was concluded that there is a need for changes in fishery regulations in order to achieve a transition. In the Witteven+Bos advice possible solutions were explored in the accompanying advice.

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