The Tourism Committee delivers a positive opinion on the development of recreational fisheries as a way to develop coastal and rural sustainable tourism activities.
The European Parliament is currently working on a non-legislative report entitled “The role of fisheries-related tourism in the diversification of fisheries”. The Committee on Fisheries is the responsible for drafting the report and MEP Renata Briano (Italy, S&D) has been appointed as rapporteur. The Committee on Transport and Tourism decided to appoint MEP István Ujhelyi (Hungary, S&D) to prepare an opinion to contribute to the drafting of the report and EAA (the European Anglers Alliance) and EFTTA (European Fishing Tackle Trade Association) representatives in Brussels have been in close contact with both rapporteurs in order to provide them information and data about the key role of recreational fisheries in the tourism sector.
While the final report is still under preparation, the Tourism Committee has already voted and approved Mr Ujhelyi’s opinion, which shreds a very positive light on the sector. Indeed, the report acknowledges the need to support sustainable recreational angling tourism and takes into consideration the suggestions formulated by the EAA and EFTTA.
The report also highlights the key role that recreational angling tourism plays in coastal and rural regions as a high-value and sustainable development activity. It also calls on the Commission to assess the socio-economic impact of recreational fishing in rural areas and supports its development in the regions where its potential is still underexploited.
Welcoming Mr Ujhelyi’s opinion, it is worth reminding that angling tourism contributes to the diversification of the income of the coastal communities. The recreational fisheries tackle sector counts 2,900 manufacturing and wholesale companies and 12,900 tackle shops in the EU. EFTTA has calculated that the turnout generated by the tackle trade is around 2 billion EUR annually. Furthermore, angling tourists spend money for related activities such as hotels, restaurants, boat and equipment rentals, charter boats and fishing guides. It has been estimated that the total socio-economic value of angling, including the turnout generated by touristic activities, is around 20-25 billion EUR per year.
The Tourism Committee’s opinion is available here.