What is the SeaEnvTraining project?
The Erasmus + program wants to improve the quality and enhance Adult Education throughout Europe (www.sepie.es)
Through the Strategic Partnerships, it supports the exchange of good practices and innovation criteria to address common challenges, such as the recognition of training outside the official system, making education more accessible to adults and enriching the training of European citizenship.
Introduction to the project
The Mediterranean Sea has an important fishing tradition that goes back millennia. However, despite maintaining a predominantly traditional fleet compared to other parts of the world, during the last century the activity has grown, causing, besides of pollution and climate change, an impact on marine resources up to unsustainable levels. The constant technological improvements, many subsidies to the activity and expansion into new fishing grounds have eclipsed part of the problem, since for decades the catches were growing despite the deterioration of resources. But fish stocks are now severely damaged by a lot of environmentals issues (pollution, warming, overfishing, etc.), and the sector is experiencing a pressing socio-economic crisis. The search for solutions goes through a paradigm shift, in which the environment should be seen as part of the solution, ensuring a recovery of both fish stocks and the marine ecosystem as a whole (principle of ecosystem-based management).
This necessary attention to the environmental sustainability of fishing activity, including socioeconomic sustainability, has been the spearhead of the recent reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) as well as the economic funds associated (FEMP). It is committed to improving the information and protocols for data collection in order to properly assess the state of resources, adapting the effort to the capacity of the environment, better control and monitoring, reducing discards and bycatch, equitable sharing and transparent fishing opportunities, etc. At the same time, the sector is pushed to adapt to these changes while keeping the socio-economic viability of the activity, using tools such as quality labels and improved marketing, and the development of fishing tourism. This runs in parallel with a growing integration of European environmental policies, which seek to improve the marine ecosystem as a whole. These policies include the Birds and Habitats Directives, which provide for the creation of the Natura 2000 network (currently expanding at sea), the Framework Directive for the Marine Strategy, or the incoming directive on marine spatial planning.
All these changes directly affect a sector currently in crisis. It is vital to prepare professionals, present and future, to minimize the potential impact of such changes, and make the most of the opportunities offered. This project aims to contribute to this, by developing training materials that incorporate the environmental dimension, aimed at both students of vocational training (VET) and professional fishermen. In particular it is proposed to focus the project area to the Mediterranean, a sea of particular characteristics (largely tradiotional/artisanal fisheries, high biodiversity, and multispecific catches), which has often been neglected when developing EU fishing policies.
Aims of the project
The main goal of the project is to strengthen the professionalism of the fishing sector in the Mediterranean, adapting their training to the objectives of the CFP and considering environmental policies, standardizing the criteria and training standards to improve their competitiveness and promoting the sustainability of their economic activity. This goal will be focus in the project on seabirds and ways to limit the impact of fishing on these species in the Mediterranean.
The specific objectives are:
• Promote and facilitate self-learning to improve capacity in the Mediterranean fishing sector following European educational standards.
• Develop contents that can be transmitted in person, but also through a learning tool, and additional training materials, which contribute to a model of sustainable development, by introducing environmental aspects that will enhance the conservation of natural heritage as well as the future continuity of the fishing activity.
• Promote standardised/common training materials while caring at the same time to incorporate the particularities of each Member State participating in the project, to facilitate the smooth acquisition of the knowledge necessary to extend the capabilities of the sector.
• Establish a system of telematic communication (web) that contributes to the self-training of the sector, direct communication and dissemination of results.
• To validate the self-learning training tool through working together with the fishing sector and their trainers (of both VET students and professionals); so that it suits the educational and social needs of the sector to which it is addressed.
• Disseminate the contents, training tool, and additional training materials developed, among the fishing sector of the different countries of the Mediterranean basin.
• Adapt and enhance the training tool and additional training materials, to allow the free and universal access to them.