The European Parliament Forum on Recreational Fisheries and Aquatic Environment is organising a seminar that will take place on the 8th of March 2017 in Brussels. It is entitled ‘Sustainable fisheries management and recreational sea fisheries - socio-economic value, data collection and data use in EU & US management’.
The Forum on Recreational Fisheries and Aquatic Environment (RecFishing Forum) was launched by the EAA and the EFTTA in 2014 with the aim of providing a forum of discussion about the issues that concern the European anglers in order to improve the contact between them and the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).
When the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) was born some four decades ago nobody gave any thought to recreational fishing. Nowadays explicit mentions of recreational fishing are found in some EU acts e.g. with regard to catch data and management measures for a number of species, with expectedly more to come in the future.
The term ‘recreational fisheries’ covers a number of sub-segments but the focus of the seminar will be mainly on recreational angling. At EU level recreational angling, and the other recreational fisheries segments, seem only of interest if a ‘shared stock’ - fished by both commercial and recreational fishers - is in trouble. Little interest has been shown by EU legislators for the sector’s needs, its huge value or its development potential - the expenditure per sea angler annually is estimated 1,000 EUR, or 8-10 billion EUR in total. Effectively, recreational fishing is managed as a residual of commercial fisheries, and not in its own right for the best of recreational anglers and the businesses and livelihoods, who depend on anglers’ expenditures.
The seminar will be chaired by MEP Werner Kuhn, who defended together with MEP Marco Affronte the inclusion of an obligation for the EU Member States to collect recreational fisheries socio-economic data in the framework of a legislation that was recently adopted (the Fisheries Data Collection Framework Directive). Unfortunately, the Council of EU Member States found that this would create an unnecessary additional burden for the Member State administrations.
The seminar will also bring a speaker from the US administration, who will introduce the audience into what role data and socio-economics of recreational fisheries play in US fisheries management. Moreover, the seminar will, among other things, demonstrate why socio-economic data on recreational sea fisheries is needed for fisheries legislators, managers and businesses.
The draft agenda of the event will be soon published on the EAA website.
For more information about the RecFishing Forum objectives and events, click here.