Last week, EAA President Fred Bloot spoke at the European Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries in the framework of a Hearing entitled “Management of Fishing activities in Natura 2000 areas”.
The Fisheries Committee invited several stakeholders from different sectors to analyse and debate the impact of Natura 2000 on fishing activities.
Mr. Bloot presented angling as a valuable and sustainable activity, which creates jobs and growth in coastal and rural areas. He underlined that angling depends on healthy ecosystems and stocks and that it does not undermine the goals and objectives of Natura 2000.
Mr. Bloot also took this opportunity to reiterate the need of giving a full position to the recreational fisheries sector in the next Common Fisheries Policy.
Linnéa Engström and some other Members of the Parliament that were present during this meeting, recognised the importance of listening to the anglers and to take them into account in the management of fisheries activities.
Natura 2000 sites cover more than 18% of the EU’s land area and almost 6% of its marine territory. It is the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world. It is important to know, that: “Natura 2000 is not a system of strict nature reserves from which all human activities would be excluded. While it includes strictly protected nature reserves, most of the land remains privately owned. The approach to conservation and sustainable use of the Natura 2000 areas is much wider, largely centered on people working with nature rather than against it. However, Member States must ensure that the sites are managed in a sustainable manner, both ecologically and economically.”
In almost any NATURA 2000 site recreational angling does no harm but delivers much welcome sustainable socio-economic activity as well as providing ‘eyes and ears” in areas difficult to monitor.
The agenda and all the presentations of the Hearing are available here.
The video of the Hearing can be watched here.