Academia in the Time of COVID-19: Towards an Ethics of Care


Computer Platform Gives Visibility to Catalonia's Small Villages

A research team from the UAB, in collaboration with the Association of Microvillages of Catalonia, has created a Geographic Information System (GIS) for Active and Sustainable Hamlets (GISASH), which gathers information on the state of and services offered by the more than 330 municipalities in Catalonia with fewer than 500 inhabitants.

Environmental justice defenders victims of violence and murder

Grassroots movements halt environmental degradation in up to 27% of environmental conflicts worldwide, according to a study by the ICTA-UAB.

El Locos por la Tierra retoma las sesiones en formato virtual

El programa Locos por la Tierra impartido por el ICTA-UAB ha reanudado sus sesiones formativas en formato virtual.

Technological changes and new low-carbon lifestyles, key to mitigating climate change impacts

In order to mitigate climate change impacts and achieve a more sustainable society, it is necessary to transform the current energy system based on fossil fuels into a model based on renewable energies.

Exploring climate change impacts through popular proverbs

Members of an irrigation community doing maintenance work in an acequia de careo (irrigation canal built at the top of the mountain) to improve the circulation of water for irrigation and human consumption.

Neolithic vessels reveal dairy consumption in Europe 7,000 years ago

Pottery from the site located in Verson (Francia) analysed during the research (Picture by Annabelle Cocollos, Conseil départemental du Calvados ou CD14 publicada en Germain-Vallée et al.

Mapping out the impacts of pollution upon Indigenous Peoples worldwide

Sulphur mine in Ijen, Java, Indonesia. Picture by Joan de la Malla.

Economic growth is incompatible with biodiversity conservation

A study involving more than 20 specialists in conservation ecology and ecological economics highlights the contradiction between economic growth and biodiversity conservation.

Encuesta: El rol del verde residencial durante el confinamiento por el brote de COVID-19 en España

El grupo de investigación BCNUEJ ( del ICTA-UAB ( y del IMIM ( está realizando un estudio sobre el papel del verde residencial (vegetación interior, en balcones, en terrazas, cubiertas verdes, jardines particulares, etc.

ICTA-UAB shares protective material with hospitals

ICTA-UAB is since last Monday 16 March 2020, an Institute with Restricted Access. Most of the laboratories are empty, the Scientific and Technical Services are closed, only the basic services are working and most of the people is working and staying at home.

Higher and earlier pollen concentrations expected for this spring

Spring and summer pollination will begin a few days earlier than usual and in important numbers, reaching higher than average levels (from the 1994-2019 period).

Power struggles hinder urban adaptation policies to climate change

Transformative actions implemented by cities to address and mitigate the impacts of climate change may be hindered by political struggles for municipal power.

Analysis of tropical fire soot deposited in the ocean will help predict future global climate changes

The ICTA-UAB begins a scientific expedition in the Atlantic Ocean to collect dust and smoke samples from the fires of tropical Africa deposited in marine sediments.

What elements and characteristics should forests have to influence human health?

Despite the increasing interest of the scientific community and society towards the potential of forests as a source of human health, the existing scientific literature does not allow for a coherent relationship between the type of forest and different health variables.

Red coral effectively recovers in Mediterranean protected areas after decades of overexploitation

Protection measures of the Marine Protected Areas have enable red coral colonies (Corallium rubrum) to recover partially in the Mediterranean Sea, reaching health levels similar to those of the 1980s in Catalonia and of the 1960s in the Ligurian Sea (Northwestern Italy).

Sub-national “climate clubs” could offer key to combating climate change

‘Climate clubs’ offering membership for sub-national states, in addition to just countries, could speed up progress towards a globally-harmonised climate change policy, which in turn offers a way to achieve stronger climate policies in all countries.

Victoria Reyes-García receives an ERC Proof of Concept grant linked to the LICCI project

Victoria Reyes-García ICREA Research Professor at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) is one of the 76 top researchers that will receive ERC Proof of Concept grants.

ICTA-UAB demands the UAB to reduce number of flights

Given our current climate emergency, recently acknowledged by the UAB, the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) has drawn up a proposal urging the University to put into action a new travel policy to tackle one of its most polluting activities: Flying.

New assessment finds EU electricity decarbonization discourse in need of overhaul

It’s well known that the EU is focusing its efforts on decarbonizing its economy.

Mining waste dumped into Portmán Bay continues to release metals into the sea 25 years later

The waters of the Mediterranean Sea continue to receive dissolved metals from the mining waste deposited in Portmán Bay (Murcia) 25 years after the cessation of mining activity.

A new ICTA-UAB project to assess the impacts of micro- and nano-plastics in the tropical and temperate oceans

A new project led by ICTA-UAB researcher Patrizia Ziveri is one of five projects selected for funding by the Joint Programming Initiative Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans (JPI Oceans).
Co-managed small-scale fisheries lead to social and ecological improvements

Date: 2018-10-31


The co-management model of small groups of fishermen contributes to a greater abundance and habitats of species.

The co-management of small-scale fisheries by the fishermen themselves and the government leads to better ecological and social outcomes than the current centralized management model by governments. This is the result of a study carried out by researchers from the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) which shows the advantages of this management model, but also points out possible improvements.

Small-scale fisheries are an important source of livelihoods for many coastal communities, but they are facing growing threats such as overfishing, competition with industrial fleets, water pollution and destruction of fish habitats. As a response to these threats, the co-management of this type of fisheries is increasingly gaining support as an alternative to centralized management, in which governments manage natural resources collaboratively with local users and other stakeholders, such as researchers and NGOs.

The study, published in the journal Global Environmental Change, highlights that when small-scale fishing communities participate in decision-making processes, it increases the abundance and habitat of the species, as well as fish catches, actors’ participation and the fishery’s adaptive capacity, inducing processes of social learning. "Artisanal fisheries do not carry the same weight as industrial fisheries in terms of global economic data, but the real economic value for families is immense," says ICTA-UAB researcher Laia d'Armengol, who points out that "the management model of industrial fisheries is not applicable to artisanal fisheries because the dynamics are different".

The study carried out a systematic review of the scientific literature in order to evaluate the results obtained by co-managed small-scale fisheries and to analyse which variables affect those results. For this, the framework of analysis of the social-ecological system by E. Ostrom was adapted with specific variables of the artisanal fisheries and of the adaptive management, in order to understand how the context and the fisheries’ characteristics influence the 91 co-management cases analysed.

According to the results, the co-managed fisheries are usually coastal, multi-species and do not have property rights, which are defined and clarified during the co-management process. A legal and institutional framework, as well as a context of decentralization of natural resources, enables the emergence of co-management. Most co-management initiatives are very recent, less than 10 years old, and have an organization that leads and facilitates the process. In most cases, government and users have the same decision power, or users are more empowered and half of them include additional organizations. Most of the initiatives analysed have adopted one or more adaptive management characteristics.

Co-management has mostly positive social and ecological outcomes. A total of 76% of the reviewed cases indicate positive results, while 17% indicate mixed results and 7% negative results. In the ecological field, co-management contributes to a greater abundance and habitats of the species. At the social level, co-management contributes to greater social participation, better congruence between management standards and local conditions, and compliance with standards, and induces social learning processes. Co-management also has an economic impact since it increases catches and incomes from fishing. Lastly, the adaptive capacity of the fishery is increased, that is, the fishery is better prepared to withstand unforeseen events and social and ecological changes.

The most important characteristic favouring the success of co-management initiatives is social diversity, involving a diversity of actors that represents all existing interests. Likewise, involving actors with different socio-economic levels favours the improvement of compliance with rules. The presence of industrial fishing is associated with negative impacts on fish stocks and less cooperation between actors. On the contrary, when there is a presence of artisanal fishing, the legitimacy of the rules increases. When illegal fishing is present, co-management improves the ecological condition of the fishery. Finally, an adaptive management approach increases the adaptive capacity of the fishery, prevents conflicts from growing and prevents new conflicts from emerging.

The results indicate that it is necessary to promote co-management initiatives fostering social diversity, with participating organizations that represent different interests and socio-economic levels. These organizations should adopt adaptive management practices, such as the integration of different knowledge systems, institutional flexibility that allow quick responses to environmental change or experimental and innovative practices. If industrial fishers participate in fishery, they should be involved in co-management decision making in order to ensure their performance under the same governance mechanism and regulation than small-scale fishermen.

The reviewed case studies rarely analyse the co-management impact on new or existing social conflicts, power inequalities and equity. However, studies that do examine these issues suggest that conflicts and power inequalities are reduced only when co-management replaces a previous system of centralized government management and not when it replaces community management schemes. According to the researchers, it is a priority that future research on artisanal fisheries analyse the impact of co-management on conflicts, power asymmetries and equity, and investigate the effect of replacing centralized or community management systems.

d’Armengol L., Prieto Castillo M., Ruiz-Mallén I., Corbera E. (2018). "A systematic review of co-managed small-scale fisheries: Social diversity and adaptive management improve outcomes". Global Environmental Change.

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