Meet our team – WP7 – Social acceptability and governance of aquaculture development in the Mediterranean

Aquaculture development is one of the mail pillars of the European Blue Growth Strategy that can be also addressed at the whole of the Mediterranean eco-region. However, this development is facing many technical, technological, social and economic challenges. In addition, as is the case with other recent activities requiring for space (eg. wind farms….), aquaculture should be aware of its role within the coastal and marine social ecological systems in a way to convince the society about its benefits. In general, Social Acceptability as a concept has been rejected by the social sciences because it has been interpreted as the way of making political decisions. Social acceptability stems from major shortcomings on two levels: that of local acceptability, because of the impact the projects in question have on communities directly affected (noise, pollution, traffic, safety, property values, etc.); and that of social relevance, because developers have proven to be unable of convincing communities that projects will meet certain guidelines or expectations (sectoral policies, direct and indirect economic spinoffs, overall environmental impacts).

Social acceptability of aquaculture is often understood as a constraint to the sector development associated with conflicts of use or negative perceptions of their production systems or products. Behind this concept, it is encompassed different complex issues and social processes, often intangible and multidimensional, which can lead to social opposition. To handle this complexity, WP7 address the social acceptability of aquaculture though several work activities. First, the WP7 team mobilize stakeholders to understand their role in this acceptability. The identification of the main factors and issues related to social acceptability of aquaculture are also a key activity of this work-package. Second, interactions between stakeholders are analysed in order to better understand the social concerns that condition social acceptability in different institutional and socio-economic contexts. Different dimensions of social acceptability are questioned with the stakeholders’ participation. These dimensions are related to (1) the misinformation about the effects of aquaculture that can lead simply to social opposition, (2) the responsibility of companies that can modulate the degree of the aquaculture acceptance by the local communities, (3) the perception of the aquaculture products by consumers and (4) the inefficiencies of governance processes and stakeholders’ involvement that can lead to lack of trust or social opposition to decision making processes concerning aquaculture.

Based on the working roadmap proposed, the purpose of this work-package is to provide recommendations to improve social acceptability of aquaculture in order to contribute to its sustainable development Mediterranean Sea. WP7 aims to contribute to the following objectives:
• Understand the social bottlenecks which can contribute to the stagnation of the fish aquaculture development in the Mediterranean Sea observed during the last decade. This work requires the identification of the social needs related to aquaculture in terms of space, technology, safety and healthy food, environmental friendly products, wellbeing, etc.
• Support the development of a strategy for sustainable aquaculture development in the Mediterranean Sea through the construction of a global strategy to enhance social acceptability
• Test protocols and tools for stakeholders’ engagement to support the emergence of social license associated to business models of aquaculture development at a local scale.

WP 7 is leading by José A. Pérez Agúndez and Fabio Massa

José A. Pérez Agúndez (Phd in environment and natural resource economics) José A. Pérez Agúndez is economist at the joint Ifremer-UBO research unit AMURE – Centre for the Law and Economics. Working in Ifremer, his present research focuses on aquaculture and coastal environment. He has been involved in French and international research projects related to the sustainability of shellfish farming in France and pearl farming in Polynesia. He is particularly interested in bio-economic modelling of aquaculture, macroeconomic modelling using Input-output models, technical and economic analysis of aquaculture associated to institutional and technological dynamics and system modelling.

Fabio Massa. Mr Massa is the Senior Aquaculture Officer at the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) of FAO. He has expertise in marine aquaculture and fisheries lagoon management, and has more than 35 years of extensive experience on scientific and technical cooperation and project management in the Mediterranean and in other regions. For FAO he has also served as responsible of the aquaculture training of the Aquaculture Training Centre of the Regional Project MEDRAP and as the Coordinator of the Regional Projects AdriaMed and MedSudMed where he had the overall responsibility for planning, implementing and leading technical operations including the supervision and technical support of scientific cooperation activities in several areas and countries in the Mediterranean. Since April 2008 within the GFCM coordinates the activities of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Aquaculture (CAQ) and its subsidiary bodies. Mr Massa recently had and currently has technical coordination of many projects on responsible aquaculture (e.g.SHoCMed, InDAM, LaMed and MedAquaMarket), has organized and taught in many training courses and seminars and has authored and co-authored several published scientific and technical works on aquaculture. In particular in in MedAID he will have the technical responsibility for activities to be carried out within the FAO-GFCM.

The research team of work-package 7

Pascal Raux (research assistant). His research experience focuses on aquaculture sustainability, evaluation of public policies and ICZM, and economic assessment of marine related activities. He works about a diversity of aquaculture systems from local to regional scales, from extensive to intensive systems, from temperate to tropical climate and in terms of species (shellfish, fish, algae, crustacean). From 1998 to 2002, aquaculture and fisheries economist in OÏKOS consultancy company. From 2000, marine economist in the UMR AMURE, University of Bretagne Occidentale (IUEM)(IUEM, UBO). Member of the editorial board of Aquaculture Economics and Management journal from 2004 to 2012. Involvement and work package leader in a number of European FP projects since 1997 dealing with aquaculture development policies, integrated assessments and participatory approaches in the field of ICZM (FP4 ELSA Pêche, FP5 PORESSFA, FP6 SEACASE and SPICOSA, FP7 PEGASO and KNOWSEAS, H2020 ResponSEAble).
Katia Frangoudes (PhD in Political Science) is a researcher at UMR AMURE- of the University of Bretagne Occidentale (IUEM).  Her research experience focuses on four main areas: governance of marine resources and management, integrated management of coastal zones and regional seas, gender/women in fisheries and aquaculture, sustainable of development of aquaculture in Europe.. She participated in several European and national research projects as partner and as coordinator. She is currently working through IDEALG national programme on the development of seaweed farming in Brittany where she is in charge to analyse and understand the reasons of citizen opposition to this development. She is  leading the WG “Gendered Seas” of the COST action “Ocean Past Platform” and the Cluster Women/Gender of the research network Too Big to Be Ignore (TBTI) run by the Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Alexis Conides (PhD in aquaculture physiology, PhD in coastal fisheries dynamics) is a research director of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research since 1994. Before he worked in the private sector for aquaculture farm design, installation and licensing for almost 10 years. He also holds post-graduate specialization degrees for financial and economic management of small-medium enterprises and financial law from the University of Athens. He is certified as international auditor for EMAS/ISO 14000 with many years of audits on behalf of the Greek national accreditation organisation ELOT. His main scientific disciplines are integrated coastal zone management focusing on fisheries and aquaculture development, coastal development, and coastal and lagoon environment and ecology. He has participated and/or coordinated more than 60 national and international projects and has published more than 170 papers in journals and conferences.

Davide Fezzardi (MSc in ICZM, MSc in fishery resources management) is a biologist specialized in aquaculture working as consultant with the GFCM of FAO, in particular on the aspects related to governance and marine spatial planning, environmental monitoring programme and use of indicators for sustainable aquaculture development. Mr Fezzardi progressed from aquaculture technical work and research in Italy to implementing projects to support livelihoods through aquaculture in South-East Asia where he worked over 13 years among others on freshwater, coastal and marine aquaculture development, participatory approaches for aquaculture planning and co-management, micro-credit for fisheries communities, and coastal lagoons management. His career spans research and training institutes as well as bilateral donors and multilateral financial institutions. He has authored and co-authored several scientific publications on aquaculture, and currently he is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of “Mediterranean Fisheries and Aquaculture Research (MedFAR)” journal and Section Editor of the “Aquaculture Studies” journal    

Marianna Cavallo is PhD in Marine Science, Technology and Management. She has experience and interest in marine governance and on the impact of human activities on coastal ecosystems. During the last 6 years, she has analysed national strategies of environmental policies to identify best implementation practices and the level of international cooperation in sea management. Currently, she is a postdoc at the (UMR-AMURE, IFREMER,) and her work focuses on environmental, socio-economic and governance aspects that can influence social acceptability of aquaculture development. Her consolidated analytical skills on national reports assessment will allow her to understand whether and how Mediterranean countries are addressing social aspects that may derive from aquaculture development and which are the mitigation or prevention strategies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>