RecFishing Forum event: Exploring the inclusion of marine
recreational fisheries in the Common Fisheries Policy
The event of the European Parliament Forum on Recreational
Fisheries and Aquatic Environment took place on 23 March. It explored the benefits and obstacles related to the inclusion of marine recreational
fisheries in the Commission Fisheries Policy, taking stocks of different
perspectives: recreational and commercial fishers and scientists.
MEP Niclas Herbst and MEP Pierre Karleskind co-chaired 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).
Click here to download the event report.
The webinar took place on 23 March
2022, from 09:30 to 11:30.
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 positively contribute to the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
But the CFP only refers once to recreational fisheries and 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 provided a unique space for dialogue. The EAA and EFTTA presented in more details their call for the inclusion of recreational fisheries in the
CFP. The discussion tackled both the benefits of making the
marine recreational fisheries a distinct sector in the CFP as well as the
potential concerns or obstacles to it. Representatives from the angling
community were in the attendance to answer the questions Members of the European
Parliament have had on this matter.