Creation of a transnational network of fishing communities

Recopades was created in 2004 as a result of the concern about the vulnerable state of fishing resources and the communities dependant on them. The NETWORK was founded by the following fishermen’s associations: APALCO (Fishers from the Laguna de Rocha, Uruguay), Lira fishermen’s association (A Coruña, Spain), La Restinga fishermen’s association (El Hierro,Spain) and APAPM (Puerto Madryn Artisanal fishermen’s association, Argentina).

Litografia de Nacho PortoGoals of the programme

  • Improve the quality of life of the members of the Red de Comunidades Pesqueras por el Desarrollo Sostenible (Network of Artisanal Fishing Communities for Sustainable Development), through promoting small economies and local development, which would ensure their food and economic sustainability.
  • To be an open network to all of the artisanal fishing communities around the world who share the same goals.
  • Develop measures in the social, economic, cultural and biological scopes in order to use fishing resources rationally and to dignify the artisanal fishing profession.
  • Defend artisanal fishing as the unique activity that permits the sustainable use of aquatic renewable resources and to redistribute its benefits equally.
  • Communicate, divulge and share Fundación Lonxanet’s initiatives with the rest of civil society and its institutions and also with those business sectors related to artisanal fishing which incorporate social responsibility principles into their practices.
  • Be acknowledged as environmental managers and participate in the correspondent fora where the policies on aquatic resources management are elaborated.

Awareness on biodiversity

Since the foundation of RECOPADES, from 2008 up to the present, Fundación Lonxanet has been supporting the fishermen’s organisations in the creation of Marine Reserves of Fishing Interest (MRFI) as a tool to manage the resources sustainably and to raise awareness on biodiversity preservation. Thus, we aim to contribute to improve the life of the members of these reserves, and be an example for other fishing communities in Europe, Latin America and the rest of the world.

The implemented projects in 2008 and 2010 were possible thanks to funding from the Galician Government, Fundación ICO and Fundación Biodiversidad. These projects implemented the systematisation and transfer of the methodology used in the areas of fishing interest..

The formal and informal communications during the project, the participation in workshops, fora and congresses by some of Recopades’ members have raised some interest in certain fishing organisations who have already asked for participation or integration into the network. At present, we can consider as current members of the programme the following fishermen’s associations: ASPECU (El Salvador), Chaco fishermen’s association (Argentina), also known as ASOPECHA, and Muros, Espasante and O Barqueiro fishermen’s associations (Galicia, Spain), represented by the Lira fishermen’s association and Fundación Lonxanet.

 Lithography by Nacho Porto for RECOPADES