While Sweden’s fishing industry is relatively small by European standards, Sweden is a vocal and influential country when it comes to sustainable fishing practices.

Environmental Defense Fund has been a facilitating partner, and a key resource, in the development of a new management framework for demersal fisheries in Sweden. In this role, we draw on our extensive knowledge and experience from around the world both in terms of smart quota management, in setting up inclusive and participatory change processes, and in ensuring that the change brought about through collaboration is durable in the long-term.

Swedish fishermen are already developing world class fishing selectivity measures to help meet the challenges of a changing industry, and comply with the phase-in of the Europe-wide Landing Obligation (or ‘discard ban’). These innovations—combined with a rights-based management programme in the pelagic fishery and the 2017 introduction of a similar management system for the demersal fishery developed collaboratively by fishermen, government and other major fisheries stakeholders — have made Sweden an excellent flagship country for showcasing smart solutions.

Over the past two years we have worked with four fishermen-led working groups, supporting them in formulating their own recommendations for a new quota management system for the demersal fleet. The new system – based on individually allocated quotas at the vessel level, with in-year transferability and safeguards preventing overconcentration– has been on the water since January 2017.

EDF experts continue to support the implementation of this innovative management framework, working with industry and government to ensure that fishermen see the full benefits of this stakeholder-driven step-change and continue to innovate and adapt the system as it matures.

It is a great honour to work with Swedish fishermen and Environmental Defense Fund to develop recommendations for a sustainable and lasting management system in Sweden’s demersal fishery.

Peter Olsson Sweden Fishermen’s Producer Organization