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Oceans and fisheries
Fishers of the future

A study that examines the future role of fishers in society up to 2050

Fishers of the future profiles

The 'Fishers of the Future' foresight study is an EU-wide participatory project examining the future role of fishers in society up to 2050. Launched by the European Commission in October 2023, the project is looking into the fishers' hopes, fears, expectations, and needs to understand how the profession is likely to evolve by 2050. 12 fishers’ profiles were compiled, based on consultations with fishers in the 22 EU coastal Member States and initial project findings.

The profiles, which outlines the main features of today’s fishers, are under consultation and are not final products

Please share your feedback on the profiles of the current fishers. This will help us study the future role of fishers in society up to 2050.

Methodology and sources of the current fishers’ profiles

To develop the profiles of today’s fishers, the study team used multiple sources of information in an iterative, consultative manner.

22 country reports (coastal Member States) were drawn by national experts based on:

  • A review of national literature in each country
  • Group discussions and interviews on the ground, based on a determined set of questions, with:
    • Around 200 fishers from the 22 EU coastal Member States
    • Other stakeholders such as fisheries local action groups (FLAGs), managing authorities, and fisheries research organisations, including the outermost regions
    • Surveys in countries with lower in-person engagement of fishers

The study’s core team then complemented the primary data with a further review of relevant European and international literature, including from the Scientific Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) along with input and suggestions from Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE).

The purpose of these profiles of today’s fishers is to capture a range of current characteristics of fishers across the EU, generate discussion and inform the content of the profiles for 2050. They thus contribute to the subsequent study phases, specifically, to consider how drivers and challenges might impact and shape them by 2050. Given that this is a foresight exercise, the profiles in 2050 are the key output of the study.

Methodology and sources of the drivers, challenges and future scenarios

The study is now exploring future scenarios in which fishers might be living and working in 2050 through a collaborative process.

Based on input from the research conducted at national level, foresight evidence from the European Commission and expert knowledge, the study team first conducted an analysis of megatrends, relevant drivers of the transitions and concrete challenges.

To validate the drivers and challenges identified, the team conducted an open-link survey that was shared with fisheries stakeholders. The survey ran for seven weeks and garnered 180 responses from fishers and fishers' representative bodies, civil society, academia, national/regional and EU institutions. The survey served to identify the drivers perceived as most important and uncertain for EU fishers and the most important challenges facing fishers.

The study team is currently using the results of the survey to develop future scenarios through a series of three workshops with representative stakeholders. Using a 2x2 scenario set technique, they will pair the drivers of the highest importance and greatest uncertainty. This technique will enable the study team to generate contrasting scenarios in a quick and intuitive way.

The first of these workshops took place in the afternoon of the event on 19 March. During this workshop, the survey results were used as stimulus to discuss the most impactful and uncertain drivers of change.

Based on these results, the second workshop will define and prioritise axes of uncertainty that describe alternative ways that each driver might play out. Stakeholders will then explore different combinations of the shortlisted axes of uncertainty to consider several alternative scenario matrices, with a focus on the most interesting or valuable combinations. The resulting candidate axes will be used to develop the straw man scenarios of the last workshop.

Background

The ‘Fishers of the Future’ study is a key element of the ‘Pact for Fisheries and Oceans’, announced in February 2023, to examine the future role of fishers in society up to 2050.

The Fishers of the Future study is an EU-wide participatory project that will examine the future role of fishers in society up to 2050.

Tetra Tech International Development is leading this study for the European Commission, with partner organisations Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Europe and Ipsos, and experts from F&S, Trinomics, and national researchers from the 22 EU coastal Member States.

News

  • News announcement

Over the last 4 months, a team of national researchers led by Tetra Tech and partners, a consortium contracted by the European Commission, have consulted about 200 fishers in the EU coastal member states in their local languages to define who they are, how they live, and what drives them.

  • 2 min read
  • News announcement

Who are today’s fishers? Over the last three months, a team of national researchers led by Tetra Tech and partners, a consortium contracted by the European Commission, have consulted fishers in all 22 coastal EU Member States to define who they are, how they live, and what drives them.

  • 1 min read

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