Fishery resources are an excellent source of food as well as a driver of job creation in the coastal areas. According to the FAO, supply of fish for food from both capture fisheries (marine and inland) and aquaculture currently provides more than 15% of the total supply of animal protein. Furthermore, international trade of seafood products has once again reached a maximum level with an annual growth rate of 5% in the past decade. These statistics meanwhile, serve to highlight concern for the rise in fishing pressure that leads to the increasing number of overexploited and depleted stocks as well as recovering fishery resources.
Great changes have been taking place in the fishing sector in recent times, including: (i) growing demand and high fish prices that are stimulating the increase in fishing effort; (ii) global technological advances that are affecting the structure of the fleets and their fishing capacity; (iii) protection of the environment, which, as in other sectors,has become a priority; and (iv) growing importance of the international scope of fisheries.
The exploitation and management of fisheries has been in the hands of the fishing communities, supervised by the national administrations, until very recent times. But today, a new type of management is necessary, flexible enough to respond to the evolution of the fishery resources, and to ensure stable and sustainable long-term exploitation. Therefore the administration and the fishing sector must be capable of interpreting the reality of a situation, its probable evolution, and the repercussions that the implementation (or otherwise) of given measures will have in the medium term, in the biological, social and economic frameworks.
In order to obtain and interpret management-supporting data, experts that have a multidisciplinary background are needed, covering diverse perspectives such as biology, economics, sociology or law, allowing them to valuate and assess fishery resources and to propose management measures through different techniques such as mathematical simulations, statistics, surveys, assessments or negotiation. Therefore, it is of maximum interest to train these experts so they may advise stakeholders in the diverse world of fisheries: different administrations (local, regional or state), fishermen (artisanal or semi-industrial), social groups (shipowners, trade unions, consumers, processors, fish farmers, etc.).
Furthermore, given the international scope of the marine environment, the need arises to establish a common method and language to be used between experts of the different countries sharing fisheries. To train specialists, that can, from their respective countries, contribute to facilitating the search for cooperative measures that may benefit all stakeholders, is, undoubtedly the great challenge to which this programme rises.
The Master (formerly named Fisheries Economics and Management) has been offered since 2004 and its contents are updated and revised for each new edition. It is held every two years.
The Master is held in Alicante, jointly organized with the University of Alicante (UA) and the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment (MAGRAMA), through the General Secretariat of Fisheries (SGP). Furthermore, the course counts on the collaboration of the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). It is structured in two parts (120 ECTS) held in two academic years, and it is an official Master of the Spanish university system within the framework of the European Space for Higher Education.
The Master enables participants to: