On 20 January 2015 Blue Fish hosted its second Come on Board! event in Porto, Portugal. Come on Board! provides guided tours of working fishing boats as part of Blue Fish’s mission to promote best practices in sustainable fishing and to educate European stakeholders about the value of the fishing sector for the environment, the economy and coastal communities.
The Come on Board! event in Porto attracted a large and varied crowd of scientists, fellow fishermen, politicians and civil servants, who were attending the Atlantic Strategy Platform Conference. These included the Portuguese Secretary of State for the Sea, Manuel Pinto de Abreu, and the Director General of DG Mare, Lowri Evans. Participants were shown around the “Camacinhos", a working fishing boat of 25 meters with a crew of 22 fishermen, by its captain, Ricardo. They learnt at first-hand how technology and best practice combine to allow European fishermen to catch fish in sustainable and economically viable ways. The tours sparked many conversations about what the EU could do to further improve its understanding, controls and practices in order to reinforce the reality of sustainable fishing in Europe, thereby setting a standard for the rest of the world to follow.