1st Meeting with small-scale fishers for the establishment of the co-management committee for the Kakoskali MPA

Enalia Physis Environmental Research Centre and AP Marine Environmental Consultancy held the kick-off meeting with the local fishermen of Latsi on the 2nd of June to present and discuss the co-management model for small-scale fisheries.

The aim of this 1st meeting was to present to local small-scale fishermen the potentials of establishing a co-management committee for the Kakoskali Marine Protected Area (MPA). The activity is conducted under the framework of the projects “Empowering the legacy of MAVA Mediterranean Partnership: Scaling up co-managed and financially sustainable No-Take Zones/Marine Protected Areas” and “Understanding multi-taxa bycatch of vulnerable species and testing mitigation – a collaborative approach in Cyprus (Phase II)”, both funded by MAVA Foundation. The two projects joint forces for a common good.

The FAO and Pomeroy defined co-management as “a partnership arrangement between government and the local community of resources users, sometimes also connected with agents such as NGOs and research institutions, and other resource stakeholders, to share the responsibility and authority for management of a resource”.

This proposal is set to make a difference in the management of fisheries and MPAs by applying the bottom-up approach to fisheries management and including stakeholders in the decision-making process. The standard government top-down fisheries management process is considered poor and dysfunctional worldwide. This new model of governance is aimed to build trust and cooperation between local stakeholders and national authorities, promote co-responsibility and a feeling of ownership and change the traditional decision-making process. This model will serve a common purpose which is to protect, preserve and sustainably use marine biological resources.