The edge

The magazine of CoastNet
Summer 2008

CoastNet Special
National educators network Shore Stories Fishing the Thames Estuary Supporting Moroccan fishing families

3 Editorial 4 News



CoastNet special

CoastNet – breathing new life into coastal matters
Summer 2008 Coastal Industry


Shore stories Suzanne Gattrell explores the power of words and story sharing through CoastNet’s Holding Back the Tide project.

The edge is a quarterly magazine, sent out to all CoastNet members. CoastNet is an international networking organisation that works with all coastal interests to promote the exchange of ideas, information and expertise to find long term solutions to coastal problems that benefit all. Our mission is to safeguard the world’s coast and those communities of people and wildlife that depend upon it for their future.
Editor: Lesley Smeardon Designed by: Cottier & Sidaway Printed by: Swan Print

10 Fishing the Thames Estuary – a future for the inshore fisheries?

12 A coastal and marine education network for the UK Theresa Redding takes a look at CoastNet’s new National Educators Network.


13 The challenge of communicating coastal management

Submissions To submit an article for publication, please email to the editor saving your submission as a word document. Alternatively, send to the address below. Letters can be sent to the editor but we are unable to acknowledge receipt. The editor reserves the right to edit submissions.

14 Supporting fishing families and ecotourism in the South Mediterranean Manuela de los Rios reports on a CoastNet international project.


CoastNet: The Gatehouse, Rowhedge Wharf, High St, Rowhedge, Essex, CO5 7ET. Tel/Fax: 01206 728644 Email: Web:
CoastNet is governed by an independent Board of Management and serviced by a Secretariat. Registered charity no 1055763 Registered as a company limited by guarantee, company no 3204452 The opinions expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of CoastNet. © CoastNet, 2008


The edge Summer 2008

CoastNet has seen a lot of change in the 13 years since it was conceived. Governments have come and gone, climate change has re-defined environmentalism and 9/11 has transformed global conflict. Then there’s nuclear energy that dropped off the political agenda, only to re-emerge with a new world energy market and, of course, the internet has changed the way we work and how we publish, use and perceive information.
But in other ways, surprisingly little has changed. Governments still struggle to integrate management in coastal areas despite years of debate and research, and despite the horrors of the Asian Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. Towns and cities are still built in high risk coastal areas even though climate change has a high world profile, and renewable energy generation from the sea is still in its infancy, even taking into account offshore wind energy. Despite many European and UK initiatives, the UK still has no national coastal zone policy or law, and nor will it, even with the adoption by Parliament of the proposed Marine Bill. Most professionals now acknowledge the need to take a long term view in coastal management – but this is meant to refer to the management perspective, not the length of time taken to bring about institutional change! At the rate we are going............. well, I’ll leave you to think about that one. CoastNet is needed now more than ever. The trends in coastal areas (across the world, not just in the UK and Europe) are as far from sustainability as they were in 1995. Those in a position of influence, which includes all coastal professionals (who advise, and who take decisions), must strengthen their efforts to improve the system. CoastNet is here to provide the tools to help do that: forums for debate in our meetings and online; access to knowledge through our conferences and web tools; policy research to present new analysis and arguments; and technical advice through consultancy and practical projects. In this issue we focus on CoastNet’s activities, to provide a flavour of our strategy for integrated coastal management: networks and good practice, dissemination of knowledge, policy research, and community and economic development.

Alex Midlen, Strategic Director

The edge Summer 2008


N ew s
CoastNet regeneration activity in Devonport, Plymouth takes another step forward
turned to secure the future of the Devonport Guildhall and the OddFellows Hall. All three buildings formed the original civic core of Devonport when it became a town in its own right in 1824 on the back of its dockyard and naval base. The varying fortunes of the naval base over the years has had a huge impact on the community. CoastNet priorities are to engage the community in the civic future of Devonport, by understanding its past and developing a new sense of place.

New body proposed to lobby the EC on coastal policy and funding
At the Encora project steering group meeting in Copenhagen in February, EUCC proposed the formation of a new body to coordinate the activities of coastal management networks across Europe. Since then CoastNet have moderated a debate among Encora partners and reached agreement on an initial proposal. It is planned now to circulate this widely among other networks in Europe, prior to the launch of the new body at the Littoral conference in Venice in November. CoastNet sees the primary role of the body as a means to lobby the European Commission and Parliament regarding coastal policy and funding, so as to create a better environment for the activities of networks and coastal professionals across Europe.

Children at Mount Wise Primary School, Devonport, clamour for attention.

Devonport is a deprived area in Plymouth, Devon which is the subject of a 10 year Neighbourhood Renewal programme. CoastNet have been working there for the past year to support the work of the Devonport Regeneration Community Partnership and others. Successes so far include securing an in principle award from Big Lottery Community Assets programme to refurbish Devonport Guildhall as a community arts and education centre, which will open in 2010. Attention has now

Civic buildings seek a new role in Devonport

Delegates at Coastal Access conference recognise urgent need for integrated resource management
The recent CoastNet Coastal Access conference, delivered in partnership with Durham Heritage Coast Partnership considered coastal access in the wider context of access to coastal resources, and the consequent need for an integrated and holistic management approach to coastal areas. The characteristics of rural economies were also considered, as the context for considering the potential benefits of coastal access. Three broad conclusions came out of the event: • the need for integrated resource management • the need to capture benefits for • rural communities and economies the imperative to understand the needs of the individual user, which range from group activities to enjoyment of solitude.

The day following the conference saw participants experience the issues at first hand with a trip to the Durham heritage coast (pictured). The physical improvements to the coast achieved through the ‘Turning the tide’ project, which saw the removal of millions of tonnes of coal waste from the cliffs and beaches, had a lasting impact on all present.


The edge Summer 2008

N ew s
All Party Parliamentary Group considers Marine Bill
On 4th June the APPG Coastal and Marine met to consider the issue of integration within the draft Marine Bill. Four speakers gave their views and a general debate followed, chaired by Norman Lamb MP Rhoda Ballinger, of . Cardiff University, called for a ‘zip’ to mesh marine and terrestrial policy, and ‘Velcro’ to provide a close and secure fit where plans overlap. Jim Claydon, of Terence O’Rourke Associates and RTPI, proposed a UK level Intergovernmental Committee to ensure consistency in policy and its application between the devolved administrations. Rhona Fairgrieve of the Scottish Coastal Forum drew attention to the artificiality of offshore boundaries between devolved administrations, and Mary Lewis of Countryside Council for Wales warned of the potential for policy vacuums when different administrations developed policies at a different pace. Finally, CoastNet raised a question regarding the unclear relationship between terrestrial and marine planning in the proposed Bill, and the need to understand how the systems would work together before the Bill can be considered for fitness of purpose. The meeting closed with agreement to submit a report of the meeting as evidence to the Joint Scrutiny Committee for the draft Marine Bill.

Word up
June 2008
“Every second week when we get the high tides, there's always reports of erosion. To plan for the day when you no longer have a country is indeed painful but I think we have to do that.”
Grim prediction of President Anote Tong of the South Pacific nation of Kiribati, in his appeal on World Environment Day for countries to provide a home for his people in the event of global warming rendering his island uninhabitable.

News in brief
Fisheries and seafood
q Report says supermarkets failing to adopt sustainable seafood buying practices in US According to a new report by Greenpeace (Carting away the oceans: how grocery stores are emptying the seas) US grocery stores are failing to develop sustainable purchasing strategies with all 20 of the country’s top supermarket chains continuing to sell fish from the Red List. The report graded supermarket chains on seafood procurement policies, labelling and transparency and support for sustainability initiatives. q Bluefin tuna fishing ban in the Mediterranean The European Commission has banned Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic fishers from trawling for bluefin tuna, a species overfished for years. EU Fisheries Commissioner Joe Borg rejected calls by some of the countries to suspend the ban, citing numerous “failures of implementation and control” that made it impossible for national tuna catches to be accurately monitored. q Wildlife Foundation say hake could disappear from Argentina’s seas Fundación Vida Silvestre, Argentina’s Wildlife Foundation has called for an urgent government plan to save the common hake, Argentina’s largest fish export, according to ipsnews. An immediate reduction in capture rates as well as more equitably distributed fishing quotas and stricter monitoring are needed say the group. worry over record high petrol prices, according to news agency, Planet Ark. According to a Reuters/Zogby poll, about 60 per cent of Americans support government moves to encourage more oil drilling and refinery construction as a way to combat soaring energy prices. However, the same number also claim to be in favour of conservation. Environmental groups have long opposed expanded offshore oil drilling, raising concerns about the dangers to fragile ecosystems as well potential for oilspills that could mar the US coastline.

q Britain misses renewable energy targets A parliamentary report published in June outlined how Britain is set to miss its own renewable energy targets and fail to meet European Union requirements unless it steps up action substantially. Currently less than five per cent of British electricity comes from renewables. q End the offshore oil drill ban says Bush President Bush has urged Congress to end a ban on offshore oil drilling, seeking to address rising consumer

q New guidance for local councils for local planning influence on flooding The UK government has published new guidance aimed at ensuring local councils maximise planning rules to better manage flood risks in their area. The guide calls on planners to identify inadequate drainage and surface run-off or sewer problems and avoid risk by prioritising non-flood areas for development.

The edge Summer 2008


CoastNet Special
ince its beginnings in 1995, CoastNet has been championing long term solutions to coastal problems, working with all coastal interests for a truly sustainable coast that benefits both people and wildlife. Our long term vision of a thriving coast that supports the many communities of people and wildlife that depend upon it, requires local, national, regional and international action – all areas we work in to realise our long term goals.

Coastal and marine education network
From its inception 13 years ago, CoastNet has been involved in coastal education and now we are setting up a coastal education network, a chance for those professionals to share information and discuss issues in a new coastal and marine education forum, see p12.

CORE project, CoastNet will be developing scenarios to guide the development of future policies for the region’s coast.

Involvement in European programmes
European coastal programmes with broad based project partnerships present a unique opportunity for coastal managers everywhere. They offer a chance to share approaches to coastal management and learn from systems elsewhere to take back and adapt to a local/national scenario. CoastNet is currently involved in the delivery of two European projects: Imcore and Encora, both of which are discussed in the context of communications on p13.

Empowering local voices
CoastNet has been involved in a number of different projects, supporting and running local events related to Low Tide Day as well as supporting local coastal professionals through various public engagement workshops. Now CoastNet is running an exciting project ‘Holding back the tide’ which will span 2008 and 2009 and collect coastal stories from people around the East Anglian coastline – see page 7-9.

All Party Parliamentary Group on Coastal and Marine Issues (APPG)
We recognise the need to influence and maintain avenues of communication with those political decision makers who are able to bring about real change. That is why in 2006 we helped set up the APPG, recognising a clear gap in communication channels and a clear aim to debate and recommend coastal and marine solutions to Members.

A varied conference programme
CoastNet has taken its rich conference programme to a European audience, holding eight conferences in venues across North West Europe.

Governance consultancy
Good governance lies at the core of integrated coastal zone management. CoastNet supports organisations by providing advice and access to good practice. In North West Wales we are supporting CCW and other stakeholders to integrate the management of the Menai Straight and Conwy Bay marine conservation area with regional regeneration programmes. In the East of England, with partners in the EU Interreg IM-

African scoping study
At the international level, CoastNet has recently undertaken a Moroccan and African scoping study and is now seeking funding to run a full scale project supporting fishermen and their families and ecotourism in Northern Morocco. See p15 for more details.

Understanding industry
CoastNet works with a wide network of coastal interests including those representing various coastal industries. See our report, Offshore Development – new frontiers of opportunity on our website. Look out for an APPG on energy at the coast and read about our fisheries work on P10.

6 The Edge Summer 2008

istow John Br is Szaj & Mav
lk , Norfo Scratby

Linda Berry


Aldeburgh, Suffolk

h Trellis r & Elizabet Steve Turne
, Essex Rowhedge

Photo A – Ruth Slater, head of St Lawrence Primary School pictured with Suzanne Gatrell from CoastNet.

Suzanne Gattrell explores the power of words and story sharing in celebrating East Anglia’s rich coastal and community heritage through CoastNet’s Holding Back the Tide project.


ertrude Stein once said that human beings are interested in two things. They are interested in reality and interested in telling stories about it. This is certainly something I’ve discovered through my work with CoastNet’s latest community project based in East Anglia, Holding Back the Tide. The project is working with individuals and community groups to record local peoples' experiences of how life and landscape have changed on the East Anglian Coast in the counties of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk over the past 50 years or more. It involves collecting artefacts, memorabilia, photographs, but most importantly it involves peoples’ stories

through a series of oral history interviews. Gertrude Stein’s words immediately resonate with the sheer enthusiasm of a wide range of individuals, schools and organisations jumping on board throughout the region – from Scratby in north Norfolk, to Burnham on Crouch in Essex. Culminating in a touring exhibition of coastal living history for regional and local museums in Spring 2009, the project looks set to unearth great oral riches and memory gems. As well as recollecting the coastal times of yesteryear, youth projects are being set up to look at the values and visions of young people about their coastal homes in comparison to its heritage.

The Edge Summer 2008 7





Scratby, Norfolk – Mavis Szaj and John Bristow
Mavis Szaj was one of the thousands of people in 1950s Britain who regularly holidayed on the East Anglian coast. Mavis, now living in Scratby, used to come on holiday to the town regularly in the 1950s and, after her mother bought a house in 1959, Scratby became their summer holiday destination of choice (see picture AC). For Mavis, Scratby has wonderful memories. “Scratby always conjures up nice memories for somebody…. and everyone’s got their own story of a special summer holiday here”, she remarks. With her interest in the social and economic side of coastal communities, Mavis, along with John Bristow has volunteered on behalf of the Scratby Coastal Erosion Group to assist in collecting oral histories from local people for the Holding Back the Tide project.

Rowhedge, Essex – Steve Turner and Elizabeth Trellis
Sixth generation ‘Rowhedger’ Steve Turner was the first person to have his oral history collected by Mavis during a training day for all those volunteering to interview participants in the project. Nestled on the banks of the tidal River Colne, Rowhedge is still very much a seafaring community today with locals enjoying the opportunity to sail, motor, kayak or row from the village quayside (see picture D). Estuaries and tidal rivers are iconic to the Essex coastline and Rowhedge itself has a rich maritime history, enjoying its own ship building heyday between 1890 and 1914. Steve’s family tree shows that his great, great, great grandfather was born in the village about 1780 and his family has more or less always been involved with boats. His great great grandfather was a shipwright, his granny’s brother was chief clerk at the Iron works and his grandfather Fred Turner, known to fellow workers as

‘Turner the Burner’, was a riveter in the shipyard. However, Fred also crewed on the royal racing cutter Britannia and, as launch man, would taxi King George V to shore. Also sharing her memories, was fellow Rowhedge resident, Elizabeth Trellis. Recalling the amount of boat traffic on the Colne, Elizabeth commented, “Of course, what we really miss is the coasters up and down, because it was very, very busy when we were here between 1970 and 1975. We used to keep a log of them, which was great fun for the children to see where they came from and learn a lot of geography from the boats”. Today Elizabeth still keeps a log of the boats which she can see from her house, just across the high street from the quay. She is a well known figure around the village, known as ‘the lady who swims in the river’ – a rather impressive claim at 74 years old. It was this fame that sparked two local villagers to ask if they could name their boat after her (see picture E).

8 The Edge Summer 2008




Aldeburgh, Suffolk – Linda Berry
In addition to interviewing local people, Holding Back the Tide also aims to make links between generations, with planned link ups with local participating schools. Linda Berry, Head teacher of Aldeburgh Primary School in Suffolk, was the first to say she would like her school to participate. Also volunteering to collect oral histories, Linda will be interviewing local people along with the help of members from the Alde and District Local History Society and is particularly interested in the surviving habitants of the ‘Lost Village of Slaughden’. This village, just south of Aldeburgh, has been lost to the North Sea as a result of the extensive erosion faced by this part of the Suffolk coast over the centuries. Aldeburgh pupils will be learning about Slaughden through a field trip to the original site and a visit to the Moot Hall Museum. Originally built in the middle of the town, this 15th century town hall now presents a visually arresting example of how the East Anglian coast is eroding (see picture F). Today, although still in

its original position, it is no longer situated in the centre of the town but just metres away from the beach. Holding Back the Tide is an adventure of rediscovery into the cultural and natural heritage of the East Anglian coastline through the recollections of local people. It will create a valuable community resource for future generations that can be used by local museums, heritage trusts and societies, future schools programs as well as coastal management bodies. And judging by early interviews, there is a lot of lost history to rediscover and learn from, through the age old art of storytelling.

Photo A – Mavis Szaj and her sister on Scratby beach in 1949. Photo B – Scratby postcard from the 1960s conjures up memories of childhood seaside holidays; Now: an offshore wind farm can clearly be seen just off the coast in a recent image. Photo C – Mavis Szaj, her father and her sister at their holiday home in Scratby in the 1950s. Photo D – The Essex village of Rowhedge where CoastNet’s offices are based is itself steep in Maritime Heritage and was the setting of the oral history training for volunteers in May. Photo E – The lady who swims in the river, Elizabeth Trellis, seen here on a boat named after her in the village of Rowhedge, Essex. Photo F – Aldeburgh’s 15th century Moot Hall is a visual reminder of the effect of coastal erosion along the East Anglian coastline. Now situated right by the sea, it was originally built in the centre of the town.

Holding Back the Tide would not be possible without the funding provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Hervey Benham Trust. More information about participating groups and activities underway can be found at the project BLOG backthetide.

The Edge Summer 2008 9

the Thames Estuary
– a future for the inshore fisheries?


he inshore fisheries of the Thames Estuary stretch along the Essex and Kent coastline – from Harwich in Essex, to North Foreland in Kent. It’s a large area, fished mainly by smaller, ‘non-sector’ boats under 10 metres in length by people from local coastal communities, with species ranging from plaice, sole and sea bass, to lobster and oysters. Clive Mills (pictured above) is one such Thames Estuary inshore fisherman, based in Mersea, Essex. Fishing has always been a great family tradition in the Mills’ family. Clive was just five when he first went ‘on the water’ and bought his first fishing boat at 17. “My

grandfather, who originated from Tollesbury, was a fisherman and net maker here and his father (my great grandfather) before him”, says Clive. “My great grandfather was also skipper of the King of Spain’s J Class racing yacht. And one of his four brothers was the skipper of the tea magnate Liptons’ yacht.” But Clive will be the last of the family to be in the fishing business. Says Clive who has lived in Mersea all his life, “I’ve got two boys and they’re not going fishing, the way the inshore fisheries are now. The government has managed the inshore fishermen out of the UK fisheries.”

What quotas for smaller boats?
Like many fishermen, Clive is angry about the quota system that seems to benefit the larger (over 10 metres) boats belonging to Producer Organisations more than the smaller, non-sector boats mainly fishing the inshore fisheries, like himself. Currently only about three per cent of the total fishing quota for the UK goes to the inshore fisheries with the rest going to Producer Organisations. For example, the UK North Sea area quota for plaice is about 13,000 tonnes but of this only 31 tonnes is available to share between the inshore boats (under 10m fleet) fishing from Dungeness Point to the Borders. Clive’s boat has a quota of 1 tonne a month for sole and 100kg of plaice “which isn’t enough for two men, it’s the bare bones” says Clive. The throwing back of dead fish because quotas have been reached only feeds the resentment. Says Clive, “The volume of cod we are dumping back in the sea is criminal. This year, one of the Mersea boats caught 150 stone of cod when they were fishing for plaice – they all had to be dumped dead. It’s a waste when you’ve got half the world starving to death and food bills going up.”

10 The Edge Summer 2008

Sustainable fisheries
So where do the fisheries go now? Recent demonstrations by fishermen show feelings are running high. The high cost of fuel coupled with the small proportion of EU quota of the more commercial species means that for the inshore boats going out to fish, equates to a loss – so why bother? Is there a future for the inshore fisheries and the communities which depend on this industry for their livelihood? Can the inshore fisheries be sustainable? CoastNet recently undertook a scoping study for WWF to look at the suitability of the Thames Estuary Inshore Fisheries to be assessed for its sustainability status under the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification process. The MSC certification process assesses a fishery on the basis of whether stocks are at suitably sustainable levels to be fished, if the quantity of fish to be caught will be sufficient to sustain the market and whether the manner of fishing itself is sustainable, ie the methods and gear used. The study found that at least six species, including sea bass, lobster, dover sole and cockles, were suitable candidates to be assessed under the MSC sustainability criteria with catch levels

Yet it seems that it’s an industry without a future unless urgent and radical management changes are made. The mismatch between the potential benefits of carrying the MSC sustainability accreditation and the seemingly ongoing lack of support by government for inshore fisheries regarding the amount of quota allocated is a huge obstacle to overcome if the inshore fisheries are to survive. Clive’s view of the management of the fisheries is very forthright “It’s clear as crystal that the civil servants who have managed our fisheries have absolutely ignored the inshore fishermen in the under 10m fleet and now Europe wants every fish to be counted… where’s our bit? The alternative is to accept decommissioning money, and as Clive says “put the boat on the tip and walk away from it”. “We’re like the corner shops trying to compete with the big supermarkets……… the industry’s in meltdown”. Clive feels that there is little government support for the inshore fleet and there are now potentially hundreds of fishermen who may no longer have a future in the industry.

currently high enough to support market demands and great potential to create a sustainable inshore fishery. This would be a good news story for the inshore fisheries who would be able to demonstrate that by adhering to the principles of sustainability they could help deliver the Governments long term vision for 2027 which states that ‘A sustainable fisheries sector is essential for delivering the Government’s vision of clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas’ and that in 2027 ‘access to fisheries continues to be available to small-scale fishing vessels (Fisheries 2027 – a long term vision for sustainable fisheries, Defra 2007).

The Edge Summer 2008 11

A coastal and marine education network for the UK
Theresa Redding takes a look at CoastNet’s new education network.


oastNet has been involved in, and committed to, coastal and marine education since its beginnings in 1996. To ensure that our coasts and seas are sustainable, careful management is needed. And to get our communities involved in coastal governance locally, an awareness and understanding about coastal and marine issues both nationally and locally is vital. That’s where the new coastal and marine education network comes in – helping an army of coastal and marine educators with a similar aim share new innovative ways to encourage learning and motivation in people to find out more about the coast. CoastNet has recognised the need for a coastal and marine educators network since the 1990s when it worked on a number of education initiatives,

including its practical guide to marine and coastal interpretation techniques, Ship to Shore, its 2000 conference that explored various educational approaches in the coastal and marine sectors, its partnership with River Ocean in 2005 on Low Tide Day, its regional workshops in 2006 to share activity ideas among other coastal and marine communicators and the publication of a ‘tool kit’ of resources for coastal and marine educators (see photo box).

To search for information and publications and to upload information our Coastal Portal, Coastweb, now has a specific ‘coastal and marine education’ subject area. Go to: To access the Coastal and Marine Education forum and communicate with other coastal educators go to and click on ‘Marine education’. CoastNet is also organising a specific coastal and marine education conference in the Autumn. To join the educators network and for more information about the coastal and marine education conference, contact Theresa Redding:

The coastal and marine education network
This new coastal and marine education network is intended to provide a place for those involved in coastal communication and education to share ideas, ask specific questions to fellow professionals, find latest publications on the subject and post their own documents onto the site. The network consists of the following sites:

CoastNet: supporting marine and coastal education since 1996

Coastal and marine educators at work – Low Tide Day 2005

CoastNet staff at an education event in Devonport, Plymouth June 2008

CoastNet education team members ‘role play’ May 2008

2007 Publication of Dive straight in, a practical ‘dip-in’ guide for engaging the public in coastal and marine issues 2005 Low Tide Day 2006 Public engagement workshop

The challenge of communicating coastal management
Could you figure out how many hours a day you spend answering phone calls, emails, video conferencing, at meetings, workshops, searching on Google, exchanging information with colleagues? A vast majority of those who work in Coastal Management would recognise they sometimes feel literally either “Lost in Communications” or “Lost in Information” With innovations in remote sensing, applications of Geographical . Information Systems and collaborative writing projects, the million dollar question is: “Does this actually making life easier for us coastal professionals?”


o resolve coastal issues we have to bring together the best available technologies matched with the most up to date scientific and technical information while skillfully managing communications and stakeholder involvement. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have a key role in providing scientists, policy makers or practitioners with the information they need or the ways of communicating with people who can provide it or be involved in the process. What is CoastNet’s role in this communications ‘revolution’? We aim always to make the most of the information we receive and to proactively search out relevant news and opportunities for our members.

Translating to the internet what coastal management is all about
The Internet doesn’t understand what we mean when we ask for specific information so CoastNet has developed a coastal thesaurus that includes relationships between terms. This so called ontology is being applied to search engines and other software to find relevant and useful information with an integrated approach. The category tree of the coastal wiki is already using the basic hierarchy tree from CoastNet in_Page and CoastNet is liaising with other similar projects in the same way.

Strategic communications for coastal management
Communications is not just an add on to ICZM projects. In many cases, poor communication has led to the failure of projects and sadly, well thought out tools and studies are developed but no one gets to see them or use them. This is why CoastNet is leading a workpackage to coordinator communications within the new Interreg funded Imcore project, a follow on from the Corepoint project.

Adapting information to specific needs
We assess information and disseminate it in an appropriate format depending of the reader and their interests. We don’t like sending out long emails with lists of information bytes. Rather, we work on an editorial strategy to capture, evaluate, edit and disseminate information in a user friendly way.

Evaluating and developing online coastal resources
The CoastWeb archive is an online library where anyone can store and retrieve coastal information which was set up by CoastNet within the Corepoint project. CoastNet also had a key role within the European partnership project, Encora, to evaluate how successful the online resources had been for coastal scientists and practitioners.

Creativity and professionalism
We believe that coastal news should never be dull, even if matters are serious, so we work with professional communications people and look for creative ways to get the message across. The Edge Summer 2008 13

Supporting fishing families
and ecotourism in the South Mediterranean
Manuela de los Rios reports on a CoastNet international project looking at sustainable fishing and ecotourism in Northern Morocco.


arly this year, thanks to funding from the Big Lottery International Small Grants Programme, a CoastNet team visited Tetouan, in Northern Morocco, approximately 50 miles from the Strait of Gibraltar. CoastNet’s interest in the African coast of the Mediterranean has grown out of the Encora Project, which was extended in 2007 to include a North African Encora Network. With a view to bring further support to coastal management in this region CoastNet secured funding from the Big Lottery International Small Grants programme to gain a better understanding of international efforts in the region to promote sustainable development. Morocco is one of the case study areas that we investigated to understand better the relationship between international guidance, and local delivery, and to identify priorities for future activity.

About Morocco
Morocco is the poorest country of the Mediterranean, having the lowest HDI (Human Development Index). However, it is rich in coastal natural resources, making it an increasingly popular destination for tourists and foreign investments in this sector. A recent government scheme is aiming to double tourist visits in 10 years which would mean an increase from 5 to 10 million tourists by 2015. Although there are local concerns regarding the environmental pressure from mass tourism, the priorities in a country where 30 per cent of the population are under 15 years old and 20 per cent are living under the poverty threshold, put sustainable development and climate change understandably at the bottom of the agenda. Although there is little coordination between local coastal communities, there is a strong interest in working together to defend community rights. It

is within this perspective that CoastNet met up with stakeholders in the country to get a better idea of the current situation and possible future actions.

CoastNet’s community project
Local actions with even a limited budget can make a huge difference, and it was with this approach in mind that the CoastNet team interviewed stakeholders belonging to national research institutions, water companies, women business organisations, politicians, fishing associations and tourism organisations. CoastNet agreed that a key focus for future action would be to support the artisanal fishing communities whose way of life is particularly vulnerable to the pressures for change that they face. Confronted with decreasing fish stocks, pressure for mass tourism development, migration from the villages to the cities, and loss of natural and cultural heritage they need help to adapt, and to capture some of the benefits of change for their own community.

14 The Edge Summer 2008

About ICZM in the South Mediterranean
The importance of the Mediterranean as an international sea, its situation between three continents, and the extent of threats to its environmental quality from pollution and coastal urbanisation have resulted in complex institutional arrangements for international support in the coastal regions of North Africa and the Middle East. An added complexity is in the relationship between Arab and Western systems and institutions of governance. Here are the principle institutions: • CEDARE ( – The Center for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe – established in 1992 as an international intergovernmental organisation with diplomatic status. CEDARE cites marine and coastal management, environmental economics and assessment, urbanisation, and education and communication as areas of special concern. • United Nations Environment Program Mediterranean Action Plan – Established as part of UNEPIs regional seas programme. Its priorities include protecting the Mediterranean coasts “from the impact of unrestrained development and its effects on the marine environment”. • METAP, the Mediterranean Environmental Technical Assistance Programme – Coastal management is a priority. • The Short and Medium-term Priority Environmental Action Programme (SMAP) ment/smap/whatis.htm – a European Union framework programme of action for the protection of the Mediterranean environment, within the context of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, adopted in 1997. The Edge Summer 2008 15

The target of the project, Amsa (pictured above), is a small fishing village to the south of the city of Tetouan. Its fishermen have traditionally made their living from the adjacent bay. However, overfishing in the Mediterranean has had an impact on the fish resources within the bay, so that fishing no longer provides for the community as it did in the past. Their vision for the community’s future is for small tourist lodges, nature trails, and a cooperative of fisherwives to run a fish restaurant for tourists; for diversification into low-impact mussel farming; for better sanitation and water supplies for the village; and for improved education and training so that local people can benefit from tourism jobs. CoastNet has set out a programme to help them achieve these goals. The programme also includes support for local NGOs, to help them to build their own capacity to support this and similar communities through these rapidly changing times. The project will span 30 months and build local partnerships between two environmental NGOs, a women’s

support association, schools, local government, university and the national fishing research centre. It will also support fishermen and their families by: • Renovating traditional fishing gear and facilities and promoting sustainable fishing techniques. • Diversifying income by installing and building capacity to develop low impact mussel aquaculture. • Developing coastal related ecotourism attractions and educational resources. • Strengthening a network of civil society from the region of TangerTetouan and Northern Africa that will promote similar good practice in rural coastal communities. At the time of going to press we await the outcome of a bid for further Big Lottery funding for a £330,000 package of activities and investment in support of these goals.

Po s t c a r d s f r o m t h e e d g e

Top left: Marine educators in fisherwomen’s clothes role play. Top right: Low Tide training day, 2005. Middle left: Pupil from St Lawrence Primary School with his waterside artwork as part of a display from the Holding Back the Tide project. Middle right: CoastNet Strategic Director, Alex Midlen, with the Major of Cardiff who gave the opening speech at CoastNet’s climate change conference. Bottom left: Children from the Last Resort Youth Group make bunting as part of the Holding Back the Tide project.

CoastNet emails:
Alex Midlen; Theresa Redding; Lesley Smeardon; Manuela de los Rios; Suzanne Gattrell; Events; General;

This publication is partially funded through the Corepoint project under the Interrreg 3B Programme. Corepoint aims to establish North West Europe as an internationally recognised region of excellence in coastal management by encouraging full implementation of ICZM, highlighting best practice, providing education by influencing national spatial policies – for further details please see

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