The Celtic Sea is an area that includes the coasts of three different countries, France, UK and Ireland. The project also includes Spanish fisheries that operate in these waters. The Celtic Sea needs protecting because people depend on the sea for vital resources such as food and energy.
The aim of PISCES is to develop a set of practical recommendations (called the PISCES Guide) that governments and all users of the Celtic Sea can follow to promote a healthy marine environment and sustainable industries. This Guide considers the implementation of the ecosystem approach, this approach involves all elements of the sea – its wildlife, physical processes and human interactions. The project recognises that flourishing ecosystems are vital for both wildlife and people's livelihoods.
Roger Cook, from the Welsh Federatin of Sea Anglers, says “Our final workshop was really powerful: at each of the preceding meetings I've felt enthused, but this one went to a new level as the stakeholder voice - strong, confident, united and well-informed - made recommendations that will be accessible to the wider public and that will be influential in improving management of our seas.
In May we held our final workshop event in Madrid with participants from England, Wales, Ireland , France and Spain. This was the final opportunity for multinational stakeholders from different industries such as fisheries, offshore infrastructure, ports, shipping and cabling to get together in person to add their recommendations to sea users and governments.
Bertrand Fazio, from the marine renewables sector in France says, “In Madrid I think we did a very good job finalising a draft of stakeholder guidelines usable in many different sea locations in Europe.”
The PISCES Guide will be launched 1st October 2012. This is perfect timing as countries work to identify the practical steps needed to deliver the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. This EC Directive requires Member States to achieve or maintain 'Good Environmental Status' by 2020.
In the final six months of the project the focus is to disseminate the PISCES Guide as widely as possible to help achieve a sustainable environment that benefits everyone and protects the sea.
*The PISCES Celtic Sea area also includes the Western Channel.