Losing Space: The Rise of the Blue Economy and the Marginalisation of Small-Scale Fishers in Cyprus.

Abstract: 

Τhe Cypriot small-scale fishing fleet is considered the backbone of fishing in the Republic of Cyprus, constituting its largest fishing sector. Small-scale fishers have always been part of the lower class of Cypriot society, and they are now becoming marginalised, both figuratively and literally, at sea. The fleet’s numbers are set by the national Fisheries Law at 500 maximum per year though a smaller number has been issued the past few years. A number of factors, including overfishing, ecosystem changes and an increase in fuel costs has through the years made the profession unviable. In terms of regulations, Cyprus’ accession to the European Union and the need to comply with the Common Fisheries Policy has not had a direct impact on small-scale fishers but rather indirectly due to the loopholes the Republic of Cyprus has attempted to find in order to ensure the status quo. More recently however, where conflicts over marine and coastal space have increased, the small-scale fishing sector has been further overlooked in favour of other forms of economic development considered to be more profitable. This chapter explores the changes experienced by small-scale fishers from 1974 onwards. Historical stages are highlighted and where possible presented through the lens of mainstream media. What has been noted is that the profession of small-scale fishers in Cyprus has undergone dramatic changes, with not only a decline in marine resources, but also a reduction in marine space. It appears the rise of more economically important activities in marine areas have been given priority over small-scale fisheries; consequently small-scale fishers have been left to defend the importance of their profession in solitude.

Sea Basin(s): 
Country: 
Year: 
April 2020
Application in MSP: 
Unknown effect
Sectors: 
Fishery
Type of Issue: 
Coexistence of uses
Economic aspects
Environment aspects
Social aspects
Type of practice: 
Study
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Stocktake
Coherence with other processes: 
Common Fisheries Policy
Integrated Coastal Zone Management
Marine Strategy Framework Directive

Questions this practice may help answer: 

  • What are the changes experienced by small-scale fisheries in Cyprus resulting from the rise of the Blue Economy?

Implementation Context: 

The study was conducted by the researcher from the University of Cyprus.

Aspects / Objectives: 

The aim of this chapter is to explore the changes experienced by small-scale fishers in Cyprus from 1974 onwards.

Method: 

Historical stages are highlighted and where possible presented through the lens of mainstream media. 

Main Outputs / Results: 

  • The profession of small-scale fishers in Cyprus has undergone dramatic changes, with not only a decline in marine resources, but also a reduction in marine space.
  • The rise of more economically important activities in marine areas have been given priority over small-scale fisheries.

Transferability: 

The methodology presented is applicable to similar studies in other marine regions.

Responsible Entity: 

University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus.

Contact person: 

Maria Hadjimichael

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