European Parliament Plenary adopts a milestone resolution on recreational fisheries

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13 Jun

On the 12th of June, the European Parliaments plenary adopted by a large majority a report on the ‘State of play of recreational fisheries in the EU’ prepared by MEP Norica Nicolai. The report requests the European Commission to evaluate the role of recreational fisheries in the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in order to ensure a fair and sustainable fisheries management.

As mentioned in a previous article the ‘State of play of recreational fisheries in the European Union’ is a non-legislative binding document, which expresses the European Parliament’s stance on the recreational marine fisheries sector. 

The report gives the most recent scientific estimates of the number of recreational fishers and the sector’s economic impact; 10.5 billion euro annually supporting 99.000 full-time equivalent jobs. 

Moreover, the report delivers a number of important policy messages and requests, including a request for a clear and uniform definition of recreational fisheries at the EU level, and to integrate marine recreational fisheries into multiannual management plans in an appropriate way, and notably by taking into consideration the social and economic aspects of the sector. 

Finally, the report calls on improving and providing regular data on the recreational marine fisheries sector in order to draw a clearer picture of the sector’s catches and economic performance over time, and to do so for more fish stocks than today. 

The European Anglers Alliance (EAA) and the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association (EFTTA) warmly welcome the Parliament’s vote and thank the rapporteur, MEP Norica Nicolai, for her excellent work. 

Fred Bloot, President of the EAA said: “The report is an important step towards much needed full and fair recognition of the recreational fisheries sector on an equal footing with commercial fisheries and aquaculture at the EU level. The report was adopted with an overwhelming majority of the Parliament’s members, which should be reflected truly in the upcoming reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. The recreational marine fisheries sector is poorly integrated the CFP, which by and large makes the sector a subject of interest only when a fish stock is overexploited or threatened by overexploitation. The sector’s economic impact is not given any importance. A fair and proper inclusion of the sector in the CFP would contribute to sustainable exploitation of the fish stocks, by providing much needed data – catch as well as socio-economic data - for the policy makers to make informed decisions about access to and ‘best use’ of the public resource fish ”. 

The adopted resolution text in all EU languages is available here.

Videos from the plenary debate 11 June; the vote and vote explanations 12 June:

Debate – short speeches (in-depth debates took place in fisheries committee meetings):
- Norica Nicolai, Rapporteur - Start: 21:22:21
- Stanislav Polčák, PPE - Start: 21:27:04
- Ricardo Serrão Santos, S&D - Start: 21:28:24
- João Ferreira, GUE/NGL - Start: 21:29:37End21:31:08
- Francis Zammit Dimech, PPE - Start: 21:30:51
- John Howarth, S&D - Start: 21:32:07
- Tibor Navracsics, Member of the Commission - Start: 21:33:29
Transcripts of the speeches are available here.

The vote

Vote explanations:
- Liadh Ní Riada, GUE/NGL – Start: 12:59:30
- Rosa D'Amato, EFDD Group – Start: 13:00:52
- Takis Hadjigeorgiou, GUE/NGL – Start: 13:02:57
- Stanislav Polčák, PPE – Start: 13:04:30
- Daniel Hannan, ECR - Start13:06:28
- Clara Eugenia Aguilera García, S&D – Start: 13:07:58
- Mairead McGuinness, PPE – Start: 13:09:11

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