EVENT REPORT - “The outcome of today’s discussion is very clear: the recreational fisheries sector belongs in the CFP”

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11 Apr

On 23 March, MEP Pierre Karleskind, Chair of the European Parliament Fisheries Committee and MEP Niclas Herbst, Chair of the Forum, co-chaired the European Parliament Forum on Recreational Fisheries and Aquatic Environment webinar entitled ‘Exploring the inclusion of marine recreational fisheries in the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP): Opportunities and challenges’ The event gathered representatives from the recreational and commercial fishing sectors as well as academics.

Three panellists took the floor to discuss the need to include recreational fisheries as a separate sector under the CFP. Presenting the recreational fisheries sector’s demands, David Vertegaal (European Anglers Alliance) recalled that the Commission’s patchwork approach to regulating the sector was far from a full inclusion in the CFP. Fully recognising the sector in the CPF would mean exploiting the so-far untapped potential for the coastal and remote communities.

Esben Sverdrup-Jensen (European Association of Fish Producers Organisations) presented the commercial fisheries sector’s perspective on the need for a CFP reform, underlining that recreational fishing should be part of the CFP. Echoing the conclusions of the BSAC White Paper on the CFP, he added that EMFAF funding should be made available for certain aspects of the sector.

Finally, Harry Strehlow (Thünen Institute) gave an academic perspective to the debate, pointing out some of the weaknesses of the current CFP and some of the key requirements to improve the governance of recreational fisheries at the EU level. He particularly insisted on the lack of consideration for the socio-economics impacts of recreational fishing when taking management decisions. He presented as a best practice the U.S. Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act which sets relevant management goals, includes the sector in the steering of fishery regulations and provides an explicit allocation framework for fishing opportunities.

Click here to download the event report.


Some highlights:

“All fisheries – commercial and recreational – are at the heart of the CFP.” – MEP Pierre Karleskind

“The full inclusion in the CFP would secure a fair and equitable treatment between all sectors.” – Olivier Portrat

“Better data leads to better management decisions and better policy.” – David Vertegaal

“EAPO suggests that recreational fishing be covered and managed by common EU policy.” – Esben Sverdrup-Jensen

“We cannot discuss blue economy and blue growth while ignoring the recreational fisheries sector.” – Harry Strehlow

“The outcome of today’s discussion is very clear: the recreational fisheries sector belongs in the CFP.” – Fred Bloot

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