The Integrated Fisheries Foundation is a working group of fishermen along the coast of the Wadden Sea emerged from the concern about the current large-scale fishing practices. With the help of LEADER, the working group offered a sustainable and ecologically well-considered perspective for the future of the fisheries industry, embedded in nature and society.

In the Zoutkamp harbour, the banging noise from a hammer can be heard aboard the ZK 38, a boat owned by shrimper Johan Rispens. He is busy rebuilding his fish storage container. Rispens is one of the initial members of the Integrated Fisheries Working Group. In 2001, seven small fishing boat operators in the Wadden Sea region are joining forces as they are concerned about the developments in their industry. The amount of fish is in decline and the sector is under enormous pressure due to increasing specialisation and an increase in scale, being the effects of more and more rules and regulations. ‘Boats become bigger in size, working hours are getting longer and solidarity is a thing of the past’, he explains. ‘And in the meantime, more and more consumers demand sustainable, reliable and…

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