Date of release: Friday, September 19, 2014

World congress stage for university academicsLeading research on European small-scale fisheries will be presented at a prestigious international event in Mexico next week by three University of Greenwich academics.

Dr Tim Acott, a Principal Lecturer in Environmental Geography, will be giving a keynote address at the 2nd World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress in Merida, which takes place between 21 and 26 September. His talk, Understanding the importance of small-scale fisheries, will focus on revealing the importance of small-scale fishing using approaches ranging from the sciences to the arts.

He says: "Arguably, in fisheries management, not enough attention has been given to socio-cultural issues. My talk will be about understanding the total value of fisheries for the well-being of coastal communities."

A member of the university's Faculty of Engineering & Science, Dr Acott has led the work on several major EU-funded fisheries projects, alongside Senior Research Fellow Dr Julie Urquhart.

These include a €4.6 million project, Geography of Inshore Fishing and Sustainability (GIFS), set up to help understand the importance of inshore fisheries for sustainable development in England, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, and TourFish, a €600,000 international partnership to promote the idea of responsible tourism for food and fisheries in the UK and parts of Europe.

Dr Urquhart will give two presentations at the Congress on research undertaken as part of these projects in fishing communities in Europe.

The pair are also lead authors on a recently published 'toolkit' for inshore fisheries, called 21st Century Catch. An innovative publication for policy makers and stakeholders in the fishing community, it highlights the importance of inshore fishing in economic, social, cultural and environmental terms, and its role in sustainable community development.

In addition, sociologist Dr Minghua Zhao, of the university's Greenwich Maritime Institute, will give a presentation on the importance of the role of women in fishing communities, drawing on work undertaken as part of the GIFS project.

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Story by Public Relations