INTERCAFE: Interdisciplinary Initiative to Reduce Pan-European Cormorant-Fisheries Conflicts

INTERCAFE (“Interdisciplinary Initiative to Reduce pan-European Cormorant-Fisheries Conflicts”) was a COST Action. The main objective of INTERCAFE was to improve European scientific knowledge of cormorant-fisheries interactions in the contexts of the interdisciplinary management of human:wildlife conflicts and of sound policy formation, so as to inform policy decisions at local to international levels across Europe and to deliver a coordinated information exchange system.

Cormorant-fisheries conflicts are a truly pan-European issue being experienced by a variety of stakeholder groups in a diverse range of aquatic habitats across the continents. An interdisciplinary approach involving the collaboration of biological and social scientific expertise, economic and political interest and practical local experience is now seen as vital to the development and successful implementation of practical cormorant-fisheries conflict management strategies across Europe.

INTERCAFE covered 28 countries in Europe and beyond, and was funded for four years (2004-2008) although it took that time again to collate all the information collected and to produced the detailed final reports. INTERCAFE was a network of interdisciplinary researchers, including almost 70 natural and social scientists, fisheries scientists and representatives, and ecologists engaged in policy making and implementation. Participants met twice a year and external experts – around 170 over eight meetings – were invited to discuss locally-specific issues. INTERCAFE worked to create a coordinated research network and an information bank that could be used to develop long-term collaborative management solutions to pan-European cormorant conflicts.

COST – European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research – is an EU-funded system for research networking in Europe based on an inter-governmental framework. COST’s mission is to strengthen Europe in scientific and technical research through the support of European cooperation and interaction between European researchers. Funds provided by COST support the coordination costs of research networks (‘Actions’). INTERCAFE is COST Action 635.

INTERCAFE built on the network of researchers created under REDCAFE (“Reducing the conflict between cormorants and fisheries on a pan-European scale”), a 2-year Concerted Action (2000-2001) funded under the European Commission’s Fifth Framework Programme. Primarily, REDCAFE was a network of biologists that synthesised scientific information on cormorant-fisheries conflicts throughout Europe.


The Evaluation Panel for INTERCAFE met on three occasions in 2008 to produce their report. This was at the end of the funding period but before any INTERCAFE final reports had been written. The summary statement from the evaluation report was also endorsed by the Earth System Science and Environmental Management (ESSEM) Domain Committee, as follows:

"COST Action 635 INTERCAFE was a knowledge-transfer network aimed at better understanding and informing the highly-charged debate between conservationists, commercial fisheries, recreational anglers and policy processes at a range of levels from very local to Europe-wide. This ambitious Action effectively coordinated and synthesised best available science and contextual knowledge from across Europe and achieved almost all its stated aims. It delivered a wide range of innovative and high-quality products which are already having significant impact on policy formulation and resource management at European-, national- and local-levels. This impact will be reinforced by the full implementation of the publication plan and dissemination strategies, including the proposed high-level briefing in Brussels."

INTERCAFE Evaluation Report