April 2020

Miguel Lorenzi, TBTI PhD student, successfully defended his thesis on ‘Architecture of small-scale fishing boats: keeping sustainability afloat‘. Miguel was studying at Memorial University, under the supervision of Dr. Ratana Chuenpagdee.

About Miguel’s thesis

In recent decades, fisheries have been going through major changes. Following the large social movement of 19th and 20th centuries towards an industrialized society, the fisheries sector began to incorporate technological innovations. New building materials, engines, and hydraulics, electronics, and propulsions systems were developed and integrated into fisheries in order to increase the fish production and met the demand of the global market. Thus, the design and characteristics of the fishing vessels have changed enormously to accommodate this process of mechanization. Resulting in the arising of small, yet somehow, industrialized fishing boats. However, the process of integration of new technologies by small fishing boats and its impact on the characteristics of the boats has been only partially blueprinted or documented leaving a major gap in knowledge about the architecture features of small-scale fishing boats and its role in promoting environmental, social and economic sustainability.

The purpose of Miguel’s research was to critically analyze architectural features of fishing boats in order to recommend a combination of technical characteristics capable to cluster contemporary small-scale fishing boats into a novel typology. Such categorization can help to better define small-scale fisheries sector and to enhance our understanding of the scale-related differences within the small-scale sector that can contribute to increasing sustainability in fisheries.

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