2022 is the year of the Common Fisheries Policy

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27 Apr

2022 is a busy year for the EU’s main legislation on fisheries: the Common Fisheries Policy Regulation (CFP). The European Commission is due to publish its report on the functioning of the CFP by the end of 2022, almost 10 years after the last reform. In parallel, the European Parliament is working on two reports to feed into this process. What does this mean for anglers and how is the EAA contributing to it? Let’s dive in.

European Parliament

The Fisheries Committee (PECH) of the European Parliament is pretty busy with activity as its Members are working on two important parliamentary reports related to the CFP.

The first one focuses exclusively on the Article 17 of the CFP, which concerns the criteria for the allocation of the fishing opportunities by Member States. Drafted by MEP Caroline Roose (France, Greens/EFA), the report examines the implementation of the Article 17 by Member States. In this context, the European Anglers Alliance (EAA) is reminding the PECH Committee that this Article should also apply to recreational fisheries. By fully implementing the Article, meaning by taking into account environmental but also economic and social criteria when setting fishing opportunities, the recreational fisheries sector’s potential would be fully recognised and exploited.

The second report, drafted by MEP Gabriel Mato (Spain, EPP) aims to give a state of play in the implementation of the CFP and the future perspectives. After conducting an extensive consultation with different stakeholders in which EAA members participated, MEP Mato is currently working on his draft report. His draft report is expected to address a wide range of aspects, such as the Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY), the landing obligation and the socio-economic considerations. The EAA is calling, as it did during the last RecFishing Forum event, for the full inclusion of the sector in the CFP, as a distinct sector alongside commercial fisheries and aquaculture.

These two reports will feed into the work of the European Commission on its report on the functioning of the CFP.

European Commission

As specified in the CFP Regulation, the Commission shall report “on the functioning of the CFP by 31 December 2022.” To prepare this, the Commission launched last December a public consultation inviting all stakeholders to share their views on the successes and shortcomings of the CFP as well as the good practices, innovative tools and processes implemented by stakeholders and Member States. The EAA and its members participated in this consultation to underline the need to fully include the recreational fisheries sector in the CFP and to give the sector’s perspective on the other aspects of the legislation, such as the improvements to the membership and ways of working of the Advisory Councils, the lack of data on the environmental, economic and social impacts of recreational fisheries, and the need to reassess the use of Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) as a suitable goal to manage fisheries, as anglers are motivated by many factors, not just maximising harvest.

Many respondents to the consultation underlined that the CFP remains a good framework for fisheries management, although it lacks adequate implementation, control and enforcement. Specifically, regarding recreational fisheries, the improvement of data collection on the sector was one of the key challenges mentioned. The lack of a proper implementation of the Article 17 was also mentioned by multiple stakeholders.

SAVE THE DATE: Stakeholder event on the CFP

To conclude the consultation process, the Commission will organise on 10 June 2022 a hybrid stakeholder event. It will offer a unique opportunity to take stock of the functioning of the CFP and discuss challenges and best practices with all relevant stakeholders. See you there!
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