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Project deliverable Open Access

General guidelines for making Management Recommendations published as CWA

Viðarsson, Jónas R.; Friðriksdóttir, Ragnhildur

A key component of the FarFish project was the development of so-called Management Recommendations (MRs) in the project’s six case studies. The case studies included two high-seas areas and four areas where the EU has negotiated access for its long-distance fleets in Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements (SFPAs). The case studies were in the Southwest Atlantic international waters (FAO area 41), the Southeast Atlantic international waters (FAO area 47, SEAFO Convection Area), The Cape Verde SFPA fishery, the Senegal SFPA fishery, the Mauritania SFPA fishery and the Seychelles SFPA fishery.

The concept behind the approach of developing MRs was the idea that stakeholder driven, bottom-up methodologies in development and implementation of fisheries management could be more efficient than the current top-down micromanagement approaches. The concept is based on Results-Based Management (RBM) approaches and had been developed and tested in previous FP7 and H2020 projects (EcoFishMan, MareFrame and ClimeFish).

To facilitate uptake and relevance of the approach beyond the FarFish project, the general guidelines for making MRs tailored for the EU fleet operating outside EU waters entered the open process of creating a CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA). CEN is the European Committee for Standardization. CEN Workshop Agreements are, by definition, CEN reference documents (although sometimes referred to as low-level standards). By publishing the guidelines as a CWA, the final document needs to be compliant with the rules of CEN and have gone through an open, transparent and inclusive process, as described and provided by CEN. CWAs are valid for 3 years, with possible 3-year extension if requested by committee members. The CWAs are distributed by CEN and apply to rules and regulations of CEN (including IPR rules). In most cases the CWAs remain as reference documents, but in some instances the CWA become basis for ISO standards.

The CWA process was initiated on 13 May 2020 with a public announcement on the CEN and FarFish websites, and lasted for 18 months, ending with a consensus meeting held on 25 November2021. After 18-month CWA process that required significant efforts and diplomacy, the authors of this report must admit a defeat in trying to adopt the “Good practice guidelines for developing management recommendations for the EU fleets operating outside European waters” into a CWA. The draft CWA is available in Appendix 2 and is available for anyone that wants to explore further development or application.

The research leading to these results received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 727891/FarFish project.
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