Centre for Rural Economy

European Social Science Fisheries Network Archive

European Social Science Fisheries Network Archive

What was the European Social Science Fisheries Network Archive (ESSFiN)?

It was a concerted action funded by the European Union (FAIR CT95 0070). It ran between January 1996 and June 1999, led by David Symes from the University of Hull in the UK.

On the 21st anniversary of ESSFiN's completion, its workshop reports and working documents will be digitalised. Jeremy Phillipson (ESSFiN Manager) will upload them on this archive hosted by Newcastle University.

By making these reports available online, we hope to bring to light a formative period in the development of fisheries social science. We also wish to inspire current and new generations of fisheries and marine social scientists.

What were ESSFiN’s aims?

When ESSFiN was formed, the social science of fisheries management was a recent field of research activity. It was already expanding and rapidly maturing, though.

Unlike fisheries science or economics, social sciences activities were fragmented among several disciplines. They were also dispersed among many academic institutes, with no integrating organisational framework.

As a consequence, the dissemination of research findings and the impact on policy debates was weak.


The overall aim was to develop an active network of social scientists. They would engage in policy-relevant research in fisheries management, with the following objectives:

1. To review the current state of social science research relating to fisheries management.

2. To identify key issues for social science research. These include the strategic behaviour of fishermen and institutional arrangements for fisheries management. Also, the impacts of alternative regulation systems on fisheries dependent regions and the development of appropriate social indicators.

3. To represent the social dimensions in policies dedicated to fisheries management.

4. To create opportunities for greater collaborative involvement in policy relevant research. Including establishing links between existing fisheries management and development research projects.

5. To facilitate rapid response to requests for information and advice from policy makers.

ESSFiN Partners

  • David Symes and Jeremy Phillipson, University of Hull, UK
  • Katia Frangoudes, Oikos Environment Resources, France
  • Peter Friis, North Atlantic Regional Centre, University of Roskilde, Denmark
  • Bjørn Hersoug, Norwegian College of fisheries Science, Tromsø, Norway
  • Babis Kasimis, University of Patras, Greece
  • Oddmund Otterstad, University of Trondheim, Norway
  • Juan Luis Suarez de Vivero, University of Seville, Spain
  • Torben Vestergaard, University of Aarhus, Denmark

ESSFiN Final Report

Symes, D. (1999) Final Report of the European Social Science Fisheries Network, September, Department of Geography, University of Hull

View the ESSFIN Final Report.

Contact us

For any further questions, contact Jeremy.phillipson@ncl.ac.uk.