Book summary: Small-scale fisheries in Europe: status, resilience and governance

Article, 28 June 2022

'Small-scale fisheries in Europe: status, resilience and governance' provides the reader with a comprehensive overview of the status and dynamics of small-scale fisheries in Europe and analyses the recent evolution of the sector.

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Small-scale fisheries in Europe: status, resilience and governance

José J. Pascual-Fernández, Cristina Pita, Maarten Bavinck (eds)
Springer, 2020 – Book, 610 pages

The book compares and contrasts small-scale fishing across the continent, covering the situation of the industry in 25 coastal countries – thereby providing a portrait of almost every coastal country on the continent.

Europe’s small-scale fishing sector is often overlooked in policy discussions despite its huge importance – providing employment and welfare, while increasing food sovereignty and maintaining communities in coastal areas. The industry forms the majority of Europe’s fishing fleet, yet these fishers are often ignored by policymakers.

The book sheds light on governance, resilience and the sector’s socioeconomic importance, as well as seeking to determine each country’s definition of small-scale fishers and understand how they manage the sector and the kind of challenges they face.

It analyses the diversity of small-scale fishing and shows how fishing communities have developed successful governing models, demonstrating social and economic resilience.

In this interview, co-author Cristina Pita, principal researcher at IIED, discusses the book’s content, key findings and who should read it.

“The book isn’t aimed at one group in particular,” explained Pita. “It’s a descriptive book for anyone who’s interested in learning a bit more about the human side of small-scale fisheries in Europe − from EU practitioners and researchers to management bodies and students.”


Small-scale fisheries in Europe: status, resilience and governance edited by José J. Pascual-Fernández, Cristina Pita and Maarten Bavinck (2020) available to purchase from Springer, 610 pages, paperback (ISBN 978-3-030-37373-3), hardback (ISBN 978-3-030-37370-2).

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