Call for tender - Marine Consultant

Application deadline: 
Friday, 1. October 2021 - 11:00


1.1. Introduction to the organization

BirdLife International is a global Partnership of autonomous, national non-governmental conservation organisations, with a large grassroots membership, in 120 countries and territories. BirdLife works together as a Partnership to conserve wild birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, by working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources.

BirdLife Europe and Central Asia is the regional division of BirdLife International, one of six BirdLife regional offices around the world. It is composed of an international team of permanent staff working on conservation, capacity building, policy, management, finance, fundraising, advocacy, science, communication, marketing and administration. BirdLife Europe supports the European and Central Asia Partnership of BirdLife International, which consists of 48 independent, grassroots Civil Society Organisations, governed by a democratic programme. 

1.2. Introduction to the project

This study will be conducted in the framework of the MedBycatch project - a partnership between the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic area (ACCOBAMS), the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Specially Protected Areas Regional Activity Center (SPA/RAC) of the United Nations Environment Programme/Mediterranean Action Plan (UN Environment/MAP), the International Union for Conservation of Nature – Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation (IUCN-Med), BirdLife Europe and Central Asia (BL ECA), the Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles (MEDASSET) and WWF..

The MedBycatch project aims to address knowledge gaps regarding the bycatch of vulnerable species during fishing operations in the Mediterranean, test mitigation measures, and support the formulation of national/regional strategies to reduce incidental catches and support the sustainability of fisheries. Project implementation involves field observation programmes (on-board, at landing sites and through self-sampling) across different fishing gear (bottom trawls, gillnets, longlines, purse seines), together with training, awareness raising, and identification and testing of mitigation measures. It aims to develop tools and build knowledge applicable to the entire Mediterranean and Black Sea area and beyond. In this context, a standardized regional protocol for data collection on incidental catches of vulnerable species – elasmobranchs, sea turtles, marine mammals, seabirds and macrobenthic invertebrates – has been developed. The project plans to leverage change within all coastal Mediterranean countries on the issue of incidental catch of vulnerable species, including through communication and advocacy activities with the fishing industries and decision makers.


BirdLife Europe and Central Asia is looking for a consultant to undertake a study to assess how co-management approaches for fisheries can support efforts to address the issue of bycatch of vulnerable species such as seabirds, marine mammals, sea turtles and elasmobranchs.

Co-management encompasses a broad spectrum of governance arrangements that involve local communities and resource users (typically fishers, as well as civil society, scientists, and research organisations) in the decision-making processes for the management of fisheries resources through a partnership with governments. The specific structures and processes underlying co-management approaches vary significantly and depend on and are shaped by the local context, however, common elements that span different contexts can be identified.

It has been shown that the establishment of co-management can lead to positive results in terms of both the process of management, as well as for outcomes for fishers resulting from management. It can enable management to better incorporate local knowledge of resources, and to respond more closely to the needs and aspirations of resource users. The engagement of resource users in the formulation of rules to manage the resources, and in some cases the enforcement of the rules, can result in management that is better adapted to local needs and can foster an increased sense of ownership and responsibility leading to improved compliance.

While co-management is not a new approach, there is an increasing focus on its use to address weaknesses and failures of current fisheries management approaches, particularly for small-scale fisheries. In the EU, co-management is being explored as a means to further the agenda of inclusion and empowerment of stakeholders to achieve more effective and participatory decision-making.

This study aims to contribute to the current discourse on the use of co-management approaches to achieve fisheries management objectives by examining co-management approaches from the perspective of addressing the bycatch of vulnerable species. Full consideration should be taken of the different forms/levels that co-management can take.

The study should take the form of a report written in English with a maximum length of 30 pages (excluding annexes). Drawing on examples from within the Mediterranean and beyond, the study should:

  1. Provide a concise overview of the different forms/levels of co-management and their application for the management of fisheries resources globally, within the EU, and within the Mediterranean region.
  2. Taking into account the different forms/levels of co-management, summarise the main benefits and challenges of co-management.
  3. Assess the utility of the different “tools” that have been used, or could be used, to address the bycatch of vulnerable species when co-management is in place, or when setting up co-management (e.g. Local Ecological Knowledge (LEK), stakeholder workshops etc.).
  4. Perform a SWOT analysis of the use of co-management for addressing the bycatch of vulnerable species, taking into account the different forms/levels of co-management.
  5. Illustrate through case studies the key points that emerge from the above SWOT analysis.
  6. Develop recommendations on the application of co-management to address bycatch of vulnerable species in the EU.
  7. Develop specific recommendations on the application of co-management to address bycatch of vulnerable species for the Mediterranean region (EU and non-EU countries) taking account of the different fisheries governance schemes found in the region.


  1. Draft study report (a minimum of 3 weeks should be foreseen for BirdLife and other project Partners to review and comment on a first draft of the repor)
  1. Final study report including recommendations (a minimum of 1 week should be foreseen for review of the final report [1]).
  1. A two-page brief presenting the main findings and recommendations of the study.

[1] BirdLife will consolidate the comments from all partners before sharing them with the consultant. 


  • A relevant academic degree, or equivalent experience, related to fisheries management, marine conservation/management, marine policy etc.
  • Demonstrable knowledge and experience related to co-management/community-based management of fisheries resources and marine protected areas.
  • Good understanding and experience of the issue of bycatch of vulnerable species.
  • Good knowledge of small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean.
  • Experience of producing technical publications/reports.
  • Ability to speak and write English fluently.


Prospective consultants are invited to submit proposals before Friday 1st October 2021 12:00 CET. Proposals should be sent to (by email only) and include the following:

  • A cover letter stating how the consultant meets the required qualifications (max. 1 page)
  • The CV(s) of the person(s) who will be responsible for undertaking the study. In the case of a team the role and responsibilities of each individual should be detailed.
  • A short description of the proposed approach to the study (max 1 page).
  • A work plan including a proposed start and end date.
  • A financial proposal in Euros (VAT excluded).

Payments will be made upon the satisfactory completion and submission of the outputs/deliverables, as outlined in the work contract.

The price for the tender must be quoted in Euros. Tenderers from countries outside the euro zone must quote their prices in Euros. The price quoted may not be revised in line with exchange rate movements. It is for the tenderer to assume the risks or the benefits deriving from any variation.

The approximate budget available for the study is €8,000 excl. VAT