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Oceans and fisheries
News article30 November 2022Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries3 min read

Sustainably managing coastal fisheries in the Gulf of Cádiz

Press conference. President of fisheries LAG Litoral Cádiz-Estrecho showing the ProPesca app
Press conference. President of fisheries LAG Litoral Cádiz - Estrecho showing the ProPesca app

In the Gulf of Cádiz in Spain, coastal fishers have teamed up with three fisheries local action groups (LAGs) to sustainably manage the local fisheries and ensure the fisher’s livelihood in the future. At the same time they have developed an app, ProPesca, to facilitate the lives of the coastal fishers.

Teaming up

The Gulf of Cádiz has many coastal communities dependent on fisheries, so sustainable management of this sector is of great importance. With this in mind, three fisheries local action groups in the Gulf of Cádiz (Noroeste de Cádiz fisheries LAG, Cádiz Estrecho fisheries LAG and Huelva fisheries LAG) decided to join forces to draw up a strategic plan promoting sustainability and look for ways to help fishers in their daily lives.

Strategic management plans for a sustainable fishing sector

The three LAGs teamed up in an EU-funded cooperation project that increases the fishers’ participation in the local governance of the area and ensures the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the fisheries sector. This was done via strategic plans. Each of the three areas drafted a plan setting out its own details and needs. An overarching strategic plan was then developed for all three areas, in cooperation with local scientific authorities (Plan Estratégico de la Pesca del Golfo de Cádiz). The strategic plan presents all the measures needed to guarantee a sustainable future for the fishing sector.

ProPesca, an app to facilitate local fisheries management

In their daily work, the three fisheries LAGs in the Gulf of Cádiz are in close contact with the local fishers. One thing was clear to all three organisations: after long days at sea, the fishers then have to work at what they call their “second job” of administration.

To make their lives easier, the three LAGs planned an app that would help the fishers of the Gulf of Cádiz focus on fishing instead of wading through paperwork. “A large amount of information was previously delivered on paper and in a disorganised manner” remarks José Carlos Macías, Fishers’ Association technician. The app, named ProPesca is a digital tool that supports and facilitates fisheries management by the artisanal coastal fishers of the Gulf of Cádiz. It is available on Google Play and on the App Store

The local fishing sector has many different actors, ranging from fishers and fishing guilds to ship owners and public bodies. This pilot project facilitates communication between all these actors, thanks to a central information hub where the fishers can find all the information they need before they leave harbour. The app gives them near-real-time information on important issues like area closures, minimum sizes, the value of their catches, and how much they have left of their quotas. With a few clicks, they now have an easy access to all they need to know and can focus on fishing instead of administration.

“For skippers and ship owners, ProPesca is very interesting because we can keep track of our fishing quotas and we can see what we sell at the fish market every day” says Antonio Romero, Patrón Mayor (Fisher’s Association President)

ProPesca is a pilot project and is still in the testing phase, where fishers provide feedback and improvements are ongoing. But the feedback is so far very positive.

Vessel owners, fishers, skippers and crew can easily access all the daily expiry and sales alerts for their vessels in near real time. They can check in advance the average selling price of each species in each fish auction participating in the project, and balance their catches against their available quotas. The app also provides access to important general information such as the scientific names of species, allowable sizes, prohibited species and closed seasons.


Publication date
30 November 2022
Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries