There is a strong and wide support in favour of the inclusion of recreational fisheries in the CFP: Now is the time to take a step forward
On 23 March, MEP Pierre Karleskind (France, Renew Europe Group), Chair of the European Parliament Fisheries Committee (PECH Committee) and MEP Niclas Herbst (Germany, EPP Group), Chair of the Forum, co-chaired the European Parliament Forum on Recreational Fisheries and Aquatic Environment webinar addressing the benefits and challenges of the inclusion of marine recreational fisheries in the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
The report of the event is available here.
David Vertegaal, CFP Topic Owner at the European Anglers Alliance (EAA), underlined that the recreational fisheries sector perfectly matches the CFP objectives. Recreational fisheries support local communities, have little impact on habitats and fit in the Biodiversity Strategy. “We call for the full inclusion of marine recreational fisheries in the CFP, so that a level playing field will emerge for the millions of Europeans who enjoy the sustainable use of fish as a public resource.”Oliver Portrat, CEO of the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association (EFTTA), also recalled the relevance of the sector in socio-economic terms, underlining that its total economic impact is estimated to € 10.5 billion including 1.5 billion euros spent in angling tackle. “The recreational fisheries sector is too big to be ignored or mistreated by the CFP. Let’s not wait another 10 years to correct that”, he concluded.
MEP Pierre Karleskind, Chair of the Fisheries Committee, added that “fisheries are at the heart of the Common Fisheries Policy – all the fisheries. And we really need to have a comprehensive understanding of what happens at sea and on our coastlines.” He also mentioned the ongoing revision of the Fisheries Control Regulation which is essential to better monitor recreational fisheries and “a key step in the way the EU fisheries’ policy encompasses recreational fisheries.”
Bringing the commercial fisheries perspective to the table, Esben Sverdrup-Jensen, President of the European Association of Fish Producers Organisations, noted that commercial and recreational fisheries coexist very well and share a same set of values. He argued in favour of the inclusion of recreational fisheries in the CFP and insisted on the need to clearly define the sector’s different segments.
Harry Strehlow, Research Associate at the Thünen Institute of Baltic Sea Fisheries, gave an academic perspective. He called for a genuine acknowledgment and management of marine recreational fisheries in the CFP, taking the example of the U.S. Fishery Conservation and Management Act which acknowledges the sector in its goal, objectives and allocation framework. He finally said that "we cannot discuss blue economy and blue growth while ignoring the recreational fisheries sector."
“The outcome of today’s discussion is very clear: the recreational fisheries sector belongs in the CFP”, concluded Fred Bloot, President, European Anglers Alliance (EAA). He pointed out that this discussion should be reflected in the upcoming Fisheries Committee’s report on the future perspectives of the CFP and the Commission’s report on the functioning of the CFP, in particular the repeated requests of the European Parliament to look into the socio-economic impacts of the recreational fisheries sector.
Documents of the meeting:
Exploring the inclusion of marine recreational fisheries in the Common Fisheries Policy:
Opportunities and challenges
23 March 2022
MEP Niclas Herbst and MEP Pierre Karleskind will co-chair the roundtable discussion “Exploring the inclusion of marine recreational fisheries in the Common Fisheries Policy: Opportunities and challenges” organised by the European Parliament Forum on Recreational Fisheries and Aquatic Environment, with the support of the European Anglers Alliance (EAA) and the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association (EFTTA).
Please register here.
The webinar will take place on 23 March 2022, from 09:00 to 11:00 (NEW TIME).
Up to 10 million Europeans go fishing recreationally at sea every year
, generating an annual total economic impact
of 10.5 billion euro
and supporting 100,000 jobs in Europe
. Angling provides many social and health benefits
and income diversification
for Europe’s coastal and remote communities. It also increases the knowledge of the marine environment
and the commitment to protect it
. As a selective fishing activity, it can contribute to achieve the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)
Despite all this, the CFP does not consider it as a distinct sector
, alongside aquaculture and commercial fisheries. At the same time however, the sector has been increasingly regulated through various EU policy instruments
with a patchwork approach. At the EU level, the sector is thus mainly seen through a control and management prism, leaving aside its economic and social sustainability and development perspectives.
The European Anglers Alliance and the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association have been calling for the full inclusion of the recreational fisheries sector in the CFP. This would allow for the further exploitation of the untapped potential for a more sustainable blue economy
and bring benefits for the coastal and remote communities. It would also mean exploiting its beneficial environmental, social and economic impact
and improving data collection, management and control
In 2018, the European Parliament called
on the European Commission to “evaluate the role of recreational fisheries in the future CFP
.” In the context of the PECH Committee’s work on an own-initiative report on the state of play in the implementation of the CFP and future perspectives, the RecFishing Forum event would provide a unique space for dialogue. It will address both the benefits
of making the marine recreational fisheries a distinct sector in the CFP as well as the potential concerns or obstaclesto it
. Representatives from the angling community will be in attendance to answer the questions Members of the European Parliament may have and have an open discussion on this matter.