Participatory Processes to Meet the Challenges of Fish Catch Decline in Switzerland. A Success Story |

Participatory Processes to Meet the Challenges of Fish Catch Decline in Switzerland. A Success Story


A pronounced decline in catch of brown trout by 60% over the last 20 years and an impaired health status of fish in Swiss rivers were the starting point for a 5-years nation-wide study. Documenting the status of fish catch, fish stocks and their health, identifying the underlying causes for these phenomena and developing corrective measures were the aims of this 5-years project.

Due to the high diversity of potential causes, ranging from impacts of climate change to increase in predation by fish eating birds, chemical pollution, alteration in habitats and attitudes of fisheries management, this project, named ‘Fischnetz’, had to cover a range of different scientific disciplines and integrate them to develop a comprehensive, holistic answer. Attempts to solve real-world problems such as declining natural resources are most promising if the various persons and organisations concerned can contribute. Accordingly, representatives of stakeholder groups were involved from the onset. Broad public acceptance was, in part, reflected by the considerable financial support of all 26 Swiss cantons, chemical industry, science and the Fisheries Association.

In total, 77 projects were carried out or included in Fischnetz, more than 100 individuals were involved. Collectively, the final datasets demonstrated that more than one factor is likely contributing to the decline in fish catches and the causes were identified in respect to their importance, depending on geographic regions and conditions at site.

Under policy aspects, several goals were achieved. Among them: (I) one of the fish diseases, identified as devastating for young trout larvae, was added to the list of notifiable diseases and was immediately put into action. (II) Our results contributed to the development of a political initiative, which eventually led to the recent revision of the Swiss Water Protection Statute.

Click here for more info.


Dr. Patricia Holm, Professor of Ecology at the University of Basel, Switzerland

Wednesday, 03 November 2010
5.15 p.m. - 6.30 p.m.

Seminar Room 3-5
Level 3, Manasseh Meyer
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
469C Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 259772

WordPress Video Lightbox Plugin