Large fishing net in the ocean, with seagulls flying above

Call for proposals: Sustainable fisheries from healthy seas

The development and launch of the call is a collaborative venture between participating and co-funding partners from Estonia, Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Faroe Islands, Norway and Lithuania. ‘Sustainable fisheries from healthy seas’ is a priority topic in efforts to fulfil Vision 2030 from the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The focus of the call is on sustainable fisheries in the context of climate change and the green transition. The aim is to examine the impact of fishing activities on the marine environment and the options for fisheries to reduce their impact.

The research area of this call encompasses the North Atlantic, the North Sea, and the Baltic Sea. Aquaculture and freshwater fisheries are not a focus area of this call.

Marine ecosystems are increasingly under threat from climate change, unsustainable fishing, and other pressures such as pollution. Fishing activities have impacts on marine ecosystems, and these impacts vary widely. Overall, the impacts largely depend on the characteristics of the gear and where, when, and how the gear is used. Furthermore, the extent of fishing and the type of habitat and biota are critical in terms of the level of impact.

Knowledge from different disciplines and multidisciplinary research are needed in order to address the challenges. This call will encourage cross-sectoral approaches and co-operation between research communities in the Nordic and Baltic countries.

Funding and duration

Applicants are invited to apply for funding to establish a research project with a maximum budget of NOK 8.0 million and a duration of up to three to four years.

The intention is to provide funding for five research projects within this call.

Themes, perspectives and policy recommendations

The call specifies the following themes and perspectives:

  • Theme 1: Assessment and mitigation of the impacts of fisheries on the marine environment
  • Theme 2: Evaluation of the effects and feasibility of time-area closures as a fisheries management tool
  • Perspective 1: Climate change
  • Perspective 2: Ecosystem services

Applicants must incorporate at least one theme and one perspective into their research plan and question formulation.

It is important to have practical measures in place to evaluate the condition of ecosystems and vulnerable habitats, even though it can be challenging to connect these measures with rules and regulations for improving fisheries governance. Sustainable fisheries governance is based on well-defined threshold values, indicators, and policy briefs. The outcomes of the project must be policy-relevant and presented in a clear and measurable way. Applicants must provide an explanation of how and when the results will be shared with policy-makers.

For more information about the framework of the call and eligibility criteria, please read the full call text.

See also: How to apply

Funding partners

  • Estonian Research Council (ETAG)
  • Icelandic Ministry of Food, Fisheries and Agriculture
  • Innovation Fund Denmark 
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland
  • Nordic Council of Ministers
  • Research Council Faroe Islands
  • Research Council of Norway 
  • Research Council of Lithuania


Kyösti Lempa

Kyösti Lempa

Special Adviser