From Senegal to Germany, from Spain to the Philippines, hundreds of fish species are on the brink of collapse because of pollution and overfishing. Over the past 2 years Sheila Heymans has been part of a large EU funded project called INCOFISH project that combines the efforts of 200 researchers from 35 research organisations based in 22 countries, including 15 developing countries. INCOFISH uses powerful new research tools (large fish databases, interactive maps, and ecosystems modelling, etc) to implement concrete solutions, including the extension of marine protected areas and the promotion of sustainable fish markets and selective fishing activities. As the project coordinator puts it, "If you keep on eating baby fish, your babies won't eat fish".
INCOFISH was recognised as a 'star project' by the EU in Futuris (No 10 2008), broadcast on EuroNews on 5th June. The new issue of Futuris is entitled 'Giving Fish a Second Chance: International Research Cooperation Restores Ecosystems for Sustainable Fishing'. It follows EU and international researchers as they address this problem around the world. The programme shows key research and fishing activities carried out by this international research network, from Senegal (Mbour, Dakar Centre de Recherches Oceanographiques) to europe, illustrating the role of retail fish market partners in this project (Stuttgart), as well as the coordination work done by the Leibniz-Institut fuer Meereswissenschaften (Kiel).