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Marine Coastal Information System (MCIS): a tool to support decision makers, SMEs and operators in increasing food security and improving sea products marketing

Luogo : lebanon, Asia
Socio-economic dynamics and global markets Socio-economic dynamics and global markets
Budget totale: € 300.000,00 | Periodo: Da giugno 2012 A gennaio 2014

Sintesi

One of the main shortcomings affecting the Lebanese fishing resources management is the extreme fragmentation of information on environmental characteristics of coastal environment as well as on socioeconomic activities. The MCIS proposed by the Italian funded project PESCA LIBANO was designed to provide the necessary geo-referenced data to support information-based decision processes for management and development of fishery sector. This was achieved by: acquiring and standardising existing data sets, collecting new data through dedicated surveys, organising information into database and developing dedicated tools to manage, process, visualise and analyse those data. MCIS is the result of a joint effort of Lebanese institutions, CIHEAM and Italian partners. It represents a unique integrated territorial system and a crucial step toward the capability of government, SMEs and operators to analyse information and plan activities in coastal area.

Partnership

Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari - Italia

Candidato guida

Agronomic Institute for Overseas - Italia

Partner dell'iniziativa

Il mandato dell'Istituto è quello di fornire formazione, consulenza e assistenza tecnica nel campo dell'agricoltura tropicale e subtropicale e della protezione ambientale. Realizza numerosi progetti di cooperazione nei paesi in via di sviluppo. L'attività di cooperazione internazionale è orientata allo sviluppo agricolo e rurale, la conservazione e la valorizzazione della biodiversità agricola e lo sviluppo di tecnologie agricole sostenibili. L'istituto collabora con istituzioni agricole e centri di ricerca internazionali, associazioni e comunità rurali. L'istituto realizza inoltre programmi di ricerca in campo agricolo e ambientale, in collaborazione con centri di ricerca nei Paesi in via di sviluppo e ospita presso la sua sede due Master annuali in collaborazione con l'Università degli Studi di Firenze nel campo della geomatica e dell'irrigazione.

Ministry of Agriculture - Libano

Partner dell'iniziativa

Agriculture and marineculture Policy, Assistance and development of Agriculture, Food security

National Council for Scientific Research - Libano

Partner dell'iniziativa

Marine Coastal Information System (MCIS): a tool to support decision makers, SMEs and operators in increasing food security and improving sea products marketing. One of the main shortcomings affecting Lebanese fishing resources management is the extreme fragmentation of information on environmental characteristics of coastal environment as well as on socioeconomic activities. The MCIS proposed by the Italian funded project PESCA LIBANO was designed to provide the necessary georeferenced data to support information-based decision processes for management and development of fishery sector. This was achieved by: acquiring and standardising existing data sets, collecting new data through dedicated surveys, organising information into database and developing dedicated tools to manage, process, visualise and analyse those data. This centralised GIS database is a crucial step toward the capability of government, SMEs and operators to analyse information and plan activities in coastal area.

Major innovation consists in the creation of a unique integrated territorial tool for the proactive management of fishery sector. The core of the MCIS is the information repository which is designed to be inquired by different users and for different purposes. Data integration delivers sound information for an appropriate coastal management including seafood security and economic activities. With an increasable consumption and a negative trade balance of seafood products, Lebanon’s fishery sector is ready to sustain new SMEs and to back the efforts of sector organizations (i.e. cooperatives). MCIS is an essential tool to start-up new economic activities (e.g. aquaculture farms) and to allow proper planning of existing ones. A long process of stakeholders inclusion fine-tuned the system to meet Lebanese peculiarities bringing the whole system of governance of the coastal areas several years forward.

GFCM 1st Regional Symposium on Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries November 2013, GFCM First Regional Symposium on Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Sea. Pesca Libano Project Coordinator while delivering a presentation on the potentialities of MCIS to policy-makers, scientists, practitioners, fishers representatives, civil society organizations, NGOs, research institutions, international organizations etc.
Pesca Libano website-GIS tools MCIS web-GIS is a website that allows users, such as decision makers, operators and productive system, to analyse and investigate complex information by means of user-friendly tools.
Vessel Monitoring System in Lebanon The CIHEAM-PESCA LIBANO Project and the Lebanese MoA in collaboration and support of the GFCM had carried out a case study on the use and feasibility of a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) in Lebanon (JUN-SEP 2013). This tool allows Administrations to monitor vessels behaviour and can return information to put into operation a efficient surveillance on the national fleet but also provide sound information on the fishing effort.

Lebanon - with a GDP per capita of USD9,904 - is characterised by a service-oriented economy whit an under-developed agriculture and fisheries production sector. In 2011, these sectors contributed to about 6% of the GDP, meeting an estimated 30% of the domestic food demand. Marine capture fisheries production was around 3,500t per year and 78% of the consumed seafood products are imported. Apparent per capita seafood consumption was 6.03Kg which is about one third of the average figure for the Mediterranean in 2005. Fish production is marketed, besides auctions, on port stalls, by licensed and/or unlicensed shops and fish stalls, directly by fishermen, as well as by street vendors. Income per fisher-owner is about 20% lower than the national GDP per capita and ca.70% less than the GDP per fisher. The Lebanese fishing fleet is composed of small scale artisanal vessels less than 12m in length. Fishing techniques are mostly based on passive gears operating mostly at depths of up to 50m.

Fishmonger in Tyre The most part of landing sites have at least one local cooperative. At major landing sites, fish are being marketed by auctions and subsequently sold to the final consumer. Quality of the seafood and its security is threatened along the different stages of the marketing chain.
Lagocephalus sceleratus Lagocephalus sceleratus is a Lessepsian invasive species of Indo-Pacific origin that has established an increasing population over the past decade in the Levantine basin of the Mediterranean. It is considered to be a serious hazard to consumers since it contains a strong paralytic marine toxin called tetrodotoxin (TTX), which can be lethal to humans. Besides its toxicity, it is causing damages to fishing gears and fishermen's catches. The picture was taken from the website www.charterpartner.com
Nemipterus randalli Nemipterus randalli is a recent intruder from the Red Sea. This species in the Indo-Pacific region is an important component of artisanal and commercial fisheries so representing a potential opportunity for the Lebanese fisheries
The port of Dora (North Beirut) The port of Dora (North Beirut) is placed beneath a landfill which had been used as dumping site for decades

The MCIS significantly enhances the capability of the Lebanese government to analyse available information toward a full operationalization of marine spatial planning. Dedicated IT team created the appropriate structure to store data and inquiry the system. The website http://pescalibano.cnrs.edu.lb/en operates as a portal to web-applications making much of this information available to the general public. The system was developed to achieve three major results:
- acquisition and standardisation of existing data sets collected from relevant public and private institutions, increasing the accessibility of useful information and its interoperability in similar database;
- collection of new data through dedicated surveys to evaluate the abundance and distribution of marine resources and to map economic activities in the field of seafood services;
- organisation of information into a database followed by the development of dedicated tools to manage, process, visualise and analyse data.

Distribution of the red giant shrimp Aristaeomorpha foliacea Distribution of the red giant shrimp Aristaeomorpha foliacea in Lebanese waters (bubble plots of the observed abundances). Data collected in the framework of Pesca Libano unveil the considerable abundance of this species in Lebanese waters. Distribution and abundance of this high commercial value resource is part of the information whose access is granted by the MCIS. The correct use of this information by interested operators may lead in future to the set-up of a new fishing metier in Lebanon.
MCIS The flexible architecture of the MCIS. This tool significantly enhances the capability of the Lebanese government to analyse available information and plan activities in the fishery sector.

Established needs. Beneficiaries of the activated responses:
1.Proper management of marine resources dedicated to human consumption. Coastal communities and seafood consumers
2.Rationalisation of sea products marketing and bolstering of multifunctionality. Fishing and coastal communities
3.Capacity and institutional building on data collection and analysis, GIS, fisheries management. Researchers and governmental officers
4.Secured advance of coastal scientific knowledge. Academic sector
5.Clear outputs in fisheries related subjects such as monitoring-control-surveillance, marketing, infrastructures. Ministry of Agriculture, other concerned ministries, international organisations (ie GFCM)
6.Increased awareness of operators and fishing organisations via their direct involvement in scientific activities and results dissemination. Fishing communities
7.Tools for decentralised coastal management and development of new enterprises. Municipalities, local acting institutions and entrepreneurs

Fishermen from Tyre lowering Spanish traps Fishermen from Tyre lowering Spanish traps, a new fishing gear for Lebanon. These low-cost traps target shrimps assuring good quality products and advantageous incomes for the fishermen.
Training on the implementation of Vessel Monitoring System Training on the implementation of Vessel Monitoring System delivered to stakeholders (MoA staff, Army, operators) co-organised by Pesca Libano and GFCM in Beirut.
Testing nets in Lebanon Testing nets with a mixed group of fishermen coming from Batroun (North of Lebanon) and Naqoura (South of Lebanon).

CIHEAM-IAM Bari was in charge of executing the project and managing the related financial resources. In consideration of the multi-disciplinary expertise demanded by the project, a continuous coordination support was assured  by IAMB in order to liaise with the other partners: Istituto Agronomico per l’Oltremare (IAO), Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and the National Council for Scientific Research-Lebanon (CNRS). Many actors were directly and constantly involved supporting or directly benefitting from project’s actions.
7 Institutions: CIHEAM-IAM Bari, IAO, CNRS, Italian Cooperation, Lebanese Government, GFCM, FAO, Italian CNR
20 Scientists and GIS experts
5 Lebanese Governmental Officers
12 Governmental Rangers
70 Lebanese Fishermen
8 Fishing Cooperatives
4 PhD students

Synthetic structure of the Pesca Libano staff Synthetic structure of the Pesca Libano staff

The MCIS has been developed with a multistep, sequential approach. Definition of needs, in terms of general structure of the system and tools to be put at disposal, had been complex and knotty due to the general inexperience of counterparts and severe prerequisite to meet. PESCA LIBANO team tackled this challenge proposing a multi-stakeholders participatory approach. A requirement analysis was executed and different options were assessed. Software tools, data accessibility and security, technical and logistical constraints, sustainability of the system, institutional roles and responsibility for the maintenance and update of the system were thoroughly analysed. The output of this work has been the precise delineation of the information system framework, including its content and functionalities and a rigorous working plan for its implementation. Furthermore, the flexibility of MCIS allows future integration with other tools designed to satisfy management needs that may arise.

Informal meeting held at MoA to define goals and structure of MCIS “Main problem met in the design of the system is the definition of clear requirements from final users. At the moment, it is not possible to identify desired outputs and to describe decision processes that the system will have to support. Therefore, the best approach to develop MCIS is a multi-purpose structured repository of all fishery-related data from both existing sources and field surveys.“ From the 1st report submitted by GIS expert Dr. Ferdinando Urbano in August 2012.

Major objective of the MCIS is the rationalisation of Lebanese fishery sector. Facilities, infrastructures and fishing grounds had been identified and mapped to optimise transport and marketing of sea products. As a result, fuel consumption and pollutant emissions will consistently reduce both inland and at sea.
Information and scientific advices delivered to local decision makers and international organisations are key for the correct management of fishing resources and protection of coastal deprived biodiversity. To produce more comprehensive scenarios, this information was coupled (via GIS) with environmental data (physic parameters and different sources of pollution) collected by project partners.
Sampling activities at sea were performed by means of nets that had been manufactured recycling old patches of experimental nets fabricated for foregoing projects. Old nets did not perform as expected and their basic components were re-used prolonging life-cycle of the basic components.

Nets filled with litter and plastic Litter and plastic collected during our fishing surveys are landed and disposed in rubbish containers.

MCIS is the result of a joint effort of Lebanese institutions (MoA, CNRS), CIHEAM and Italian partners. Its main output is a wide set of standardised and quality checked information that establishes a solid basis for future management measures and a baseline for further studies in fisheries. Thus MCIS is
1)a tool playing a key role in supporting concerted actions, creating synergies and avoiding duplications
2)a permanent platform to ensure long-term sustainability of actions overseen by MoA
MCIS is assisting MoA officers in data analyses implemented in EU-funded projects on fisheries and multifunctionality. CNRS has recently (AUG/14) financed a 2-year research project and established a PhD position in marine ecology to assure continuity to data collection at sea. Lebanese partners and CIHEAM are active part of the GFCM-led Concerted Action for Lebanon that defined a road map identifying priorities and actions to be undertaken in the coming years in fields of fisheries and aquaculture.

Pesca Libano Website homepage Website: http://pescalibano.cnrs.edu.lb/en/ CIHEAM-PESCA LIBANO Project “Technical Assistance to the Ministry of Agriculture in the field of fishery development, Pesca Libano” aimed at the sustainable management of marine fisheries toward the activation and development of the potentialities of Lebanon’s marine coastal resources.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Final Report on VMS Final report detailing the pilot action for the set-up of a Vessel Monitoring System in Lebanon.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Final report on MCIS The final report detailing technical characteristics and objectives of the MCIS
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Project Booklet providing a complete set of recommendations Booklet drafted and distributed at the occasion of the project final conference. The conference, in the presence of Authorities and stakeholders, was conceived to give visibility to all the partners and to the efforts they lavished for a successful implementation of the project. Furthermore, it was meant to provide concerned Institutions with a complete set of recommendations for future actions to be undertaken in order to ensure the full sustainability of good practices and processes initiated

Information sharing, collaboration and integration of different initiatives’ activities had been MCIS core. Dissemination activities:
DEC 2012. Scientific & financial contribution to the Concerted Action for Lebanon on Fisheries and Aquaculture held at GFCM HQs.
MAY 2013. PESCA LIBANO (PL) participates to SlowFish organising the conference "Innovation and best practices in the fishery production chain in Near East: the Lebanese case".
OCT, 2013. In GFCM workshop, PL presents the case study carried out as part of MCIS data collection on the use and feasibility of Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) in Lebanon.
NOV 2013. In the 1st Regional Symposium on Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, PL gives its significant contribution sharing good practices and lessons learnt. PL organises an ad hoc workshop and submits 3 publications.
JAN 2014 at MoA HQ, PL closes its activities with a seminar whose major goal is to ensure full sustainability to processes initiated.

GFCM Concerted Action for Lebanon on Fisheries and Aquaculture December 2012. Concerted Action for Lebanon on Fisheries and Aquaculture held at the GFCM HQs. Meeting was attended and co-financed by CIHEAM-Pesca Libano representatives, CNRS, FAO and GFCM experts, delegate from EU, IAM Bari, IREPA and Lebanese stakeholders
Innovation and best practices in the fishery production chain in Near East May 2013. CIHEAM-Pesca Libano participated to the event Slow Fish held in Genoa with a stand shared with other initiatives promoted by IAM Bari. Pesca Libano animated the conference "Innovation and best practices in the fishery production chain in the Near East: the Lebanese case" seeing the participation of international experts providing their contribute to the improvement of the fishery sector in Lebanon.
Intervention of the Minister of Agriculture During the project final conference; H.E. the Minister of Agriculture highlighted the difficult situation of the fishing communities in Lebanon. In his view, it is the result of neglected policies and lack of governance of the sector, of the high pollution of the sea and to the expected declining in the young generations’ vocation. Encouraging artisanal fisheries could be a tool to reduce poverty of coastal communities.
Project brochure A brochure distributed during events and conferences showing brief information on the project Pesca Libano (recto, right) and sampling points examined in the framework of the fishing survey carried out by the project (verso, left)