Considerations regarding Marine Spatial Planning and Artisanal Fisheries in the Canary Islands

Daila Guerra Doreste

Nowadays, Fisheries management is essential for protecting and preserving the environment, and to achieve so, good management practices and tools are needed. Artisanal and small-scale fisheries are usually less harmful to the environment than industrial fishing, but if the social aspects are neglected the effects can be just as negative. The Canary Islands have small fishing communities all along their coast, some of them better organized than others. The European Union launched the Marine Spatial Planning Directive in 2014, with the goal of covering the full cycle of problem and opportunity identification, information collection, planning, decision-making, implementation, revision or updating and the monitoring of implementation’ by 31st March 2021. With this research, we wanted to assess the status of artisanal fisheries in the Canary Islands, to understand the origins of the issues and challenges the sector is currently facing and estimate the potential of MSP for conflict resolution and as a management tool. We concluded that this potential could have a great extent, but there is an urgent need to restructure and improve the social component of artisanal fisheries in this region.