Successful kick-off of the Forum on Recreational Fisheries and Aquatic Environment in the European Parliament
MEP Niclas Herbst and Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius welcome constructive dialogue with the recreational fisheries sector during the relaunch event of the RecFishing Forum.
From left to right: Miroslav Zaberl (EAA), Janet Doyle (EFTTA), Jean-Claude Bel (EFTTA), Stefan Spahn (EAA) Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius, Fred Bloot (EAA), Markus Lundgren (EAA), Kaare Manniche Ebert (EAA), Øyvind Fjeldseth (EAA)
The official relaunch of the European Parliament Forum on Recreational Fisheries and the Aquatic Environment (Recfishing Forum) took place yesterday during the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Hosted by MEP Niclas Herbst (EPP Group, Germany), representatives from the European Anglers Alliance (EAA) and the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association (EFTTA) were joined by Members of the European Parliament from different EU countries and political groups to exchange on the role of recreational fishing in Europe and future areas of cooperation in the context of the Forum.
As Chair of the event, Niclas Herbst welcomed the participants and underlined the importance of the Recfishing Forum: “I am convinced that the discussions we have in the Forum matter a lot for us as MEPs, to regularly check with stakeholders and people that the policies we adopt are practicable and fit for purpose”.
Mr Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries gave opening remarks for this kick-off meeting of the Forum. Highlighting that anglers’ commitment to sustainable fisheries and conservation of the environment fit in some of his key priorities such as clean water and full implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy, he also underlined that “data is gold. We need more data on the recreational fisheries sector to make sure that our decisions are based on scientific evidence”.
Fred Bloot, EAA President and Jean-Claude Bel, former EFTTA CEO presented the Forum on Recreational Fisheries and its achievement over the past five years and recalled the economic and social benefits that the sector provides to Europe: more than 25 million Europeans are anglers and generate more than €20 billion of yearly economic value by practicing their hobby. “This is about a leisure activity that brings people together, contributes to the conservation of the environment and biodiversity, provides jobs in many SMEs and perspectives to communities in coastal and rural areas” said Mr Bel. “Recreational fishing also offers a positive contribution to health, social and cultural well-being of citizens and communities in Europe” added Fred Bloot. “Tonight, but also over the next five years, we would like to take you through this Forum into the beautiful and versatile world of recreational fishing. Together, we can make better policies in Europe in the area of fisheries and environment” he concluded, mentioning the Common Fisheries Policy and the Water Framework Directive as two key legislations to work on.
Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius MEP Niclas Herbst