Small-Scale Fisheries Take Centre-Stage in Europe (Once Again)

  • José J. Pascual-FernándezEmail author
  • Cristina Pita
  • Maarten Bavinck
Part of the MARE Publication Series book series (MARE, volume 23)


Small-scale fisheries in Europe have historically rarely received the attention they deserve. Fishery scholars and policy makers worldwide have until recently paid scant attention to the diversity of the fisheries sector, or to the existence of small-scale fleets and their fishing communities. For far too long, small-scale fishing activity has been obscured by a focus on medium or large-scale fleets, idealised as being more modern, technologically advanced and more profitable. However, resource crises in some fisheries and increasing concerns about unsustainable practices and subsidies have put small-scale fisheries in Europe, and beyond, centre stage once again. This chapter introduces 25 country studies about small-scale fisheries in Europe, written by authors from different academic fields as well as by practitioners. Here, we provide insights into the backgrounds of small-scale fisheries in Europe, linking them to prevailing policy approaches, such as the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). We argue that small-scale fisheries in Europe are diverse, complex and dynamic, and show various levels of resilience. The evidence collected in this book will help people to understand the range of challenges small-scale fisheries face and how these might be overcome.


Small-scale fisheries Inshore fisheries Artisanal fisheries Coastal fisheries Large-scale fisheries European Union Governance Common Fisheries Policy Atlantic Mediterranean Sea Black Sea North Sea Baltic Sea 



The authors would like to thank “Too Big To Ignore: Global Partnership for Small-Scale Fisheries Research” funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (grant number 895-2011-1011) and the project “Governance challenges for sustainable small-scale fisheries: creating synergies with marine conservation and tourism” (GOBAMP II, CSO2013-45773-R, financed by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of Spain). Authors would also like to thank the COST Action CA15217 - Ocean Governance for Sustainability - challenges, options and the role of science, supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology). J. Pascual would also like to acknowledge Macarofood project (Valorización de productos marinos de la Macaronesia: turismo, gastronomía y capacitación profesional, Interreg-MAC/2.3d/015), with the support of European Regional Development Fund. C. Pita would also like to acknowledge FCT/MCTES national funds for its financial support to CESAM (UIDP/50017/2020+UIDB/50017/2020).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • José J. Pascual-Fernández
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cristina Pita
    • 2
  • Maarten Bavinck
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Instituto Universitario de Investigación Social y Turismo (ISTUR), Departamento de Sociología y AntropologíaUniversidad de La LagunaLa LagunaSpain
  2. 2.Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM), Department of Environment and Planning (DAO)University of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  3. 3.Department of Geography, Planning and International Development StudiesUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Norwegian College of FisheriesUiT The Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway

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