Task 1. Full digitalization of on land marine fishery facilities for socio-economic exploitation and development

Coordination: IAO - Participants: CNRS Remote Sensing Centre, Ministry of Agriculture GIS staff - Collaboration: GFCM

One of the main shortcomings affecting the management of the Lebanese coastal resources and activities, including those related to the fishery sector, is that the information on the environmental characteristics of both the marine environment and coastal habitats as well as the data on the socio-economic activities are fragmented and scattered among different governmental bodies and institutes. Moreover, the data that have been collected in the past by national or international projects are often not available to be used for management purposes. An important effort to complete the available data sets on the fishery sector has been undertaken by the project with the support of MoA field data collectors. Data, information and location on ports, official authorities, associations, supporting and linked economical activities, and marketing of the catch have been collected. A centralized GIS is an important step toward an enhanced capability of the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) to analyse the available information and planning the activities carried out in the coastal area with a special focus on the fishery sector. This task's objective is to develop a centralized GIS system (Marine Coastal Information System: MCIS) aimed at supporting and strengthen the management of marine and fishery resources by the MoA. Additional objectives are related to the setting up of a new licensing system and the evaluation of the feasibility of a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) for the artisanal fleet.

Task 2. Marine resources mapped, identified and better exploited

Coordination: CNRS - Participants: MoA - Collaboration: CNR-IAMC

Abundance surveys are frequently used to gain information on stock size and distribution. In marine areas demersal fish species are typically surveyed by bottom trawls whereas pelagic species are predominantly surveyed by acoustic methods calibrated by trawl catches. Trawl surveys are aimed at assessing species distributed over soft bottoms (i.e. sandy, muddy bottoms) whereas they cannot be used for those species inhabiting rocky or sandy-rocky habitats. In the case of Lebanon the most important commercial species are typical coastal and distributed over areas where standard trawling cannot be carried out. Since small – low trophic level species are extremely relevant for the Lebanese artisanal fisheries, the use of gillnets ad trammel nets is, therefore, more suitable than longlines for catch and monitoring the large arrays of commercial species occurring along the Lebanese continental shelf. 48 sampling stations between Aabde and Naquora have been surveyed in the summers of 2012 and 2013. The experimental gillnets and trammel nets have been lowered up to 150 m and soaked overnight. The project assessed the distribution and abundance of fisheries resources along the Lebanese coasts in order to deliver a scientific advices to MoA for an enhanced fisheries management. In addition, fishing trials with experimental gears in offshore water were carried out to assess the economic and biological sustainability of new fishing metiers, along with data collection and analysis of benthic samples with the aim to identify the benthic community occurring in correspondence of the main fishing grounds.The final users of the task's results should be local communities, informed about the survey results and the characteristics and performance of the new gear tested, the MoA that should make use of the results obtained from the survey to enhance the current fisheries management practices, and the CNRS that can plan further actions in the near future on the same subject.

Task 3. Institutional building

Coordination: MOA - Participants: CNRS, GFCM, FAO - EASTMED - Collaboration: GFCM

The policy and governance issues of small-scale fisheries are often very complex and demanding, and good approaches and best practices are still in the process of being explored and defined in the very wide range of social, environmental and economic conditions which are to be encountered. Small-scale fisheries are commonly carried out in resource systems and community environments in which other sectorial interests and influences are also present (e.g. industrial and agricultural discharges, oil and petrochemical impacts, urban development and marine transport). These can typically affect the quality or access to resources and conflicts across and between different interests at local and national levels may occur. Policy and management approaches for small-scale fisheries therefore need to account for these interactions and where necessary take up explicit cross-sectorial actions. A review of the legal frameworks and management approaches adopted in EU and Mediterranean region it’s the first step for the development of a strategic document that can identify future directions and priorities for the Lebanese fishing sector.This task is aimed at enhance the capability of MoA to develop coordinated and participative management plans for artisanal fisheries in Lebanon. Following the meeting held in Rome on December 3 and 4 2012 "Concerted Action for Lebanon" organized by the GFCM, in which the Pesca Libano played a major role and that produced a comprehensive roadmap of the upcoming steps to be undertaken in the field on fisheries and aquaculture in Lebanon. The project is organizing in Lebanon a workshop aiming at officially adopting the roadmap, keeping Parties up to date on further steps implemented in the last months and presenting results and potentialities of the Pesca Libano project. Final results of the workshop will be endorsed by the project Pesca Libano, producing the strategy document with the direct involvement of the major stakeholders. A feasibility study whose objective is the identification of the main requirements for an enhanced MCS of Lebanese fisheries, including also the technical equipment required is being organized.

Task 4. Visibility and promotion

Coordination: CIHEAM-IAM BARI - Participants: CNRS, MOA, IAO

The main purposes of this task is to disseminate and discuss the results of the project. More specifically the activities identified will be aimed at the following objectives:

  • raising awareness among stakeholders involved in the fisheries sector about the objectives and results of the project;
  • informe – educate the community;
  • get input and feedback from the community;
  • promote the project outputs and results.

A series of coordinated activities is developed to transfer and divulgate the main project results, including the Marine Coastal Information System and the findings of the experimental fishing survey. A website of the project hosting a web-GIS application that makes available most of the achievements of the project to the general public are tools to divulgate the current knowledge on Lebanese fisheries with relation to the characteristics of the coastal area and marine environment. Brochures and other materials are being used to promote the project activities and transfer the main results obtained to fishermen and other stakeholders.