New European Parliament resolution looks at the criteria for allocating fishing opportunities

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05 Jul

On 7 June, the European Parliament adopted its resolution on the implementation of Article 17 of the Common Fisheries Policy Regulation (CFP). Article 17 underlines that Member States should use objective and transparent criteria to allocate fishing opportunities, including those of an environmental, social and economic nature.

MEP Caroline Roose (France, Greens/EFA) was tasked with drafting the resolution for the Fisheries Committee. She looked at how the fishing opportunities are distributed between the different fisheries within each Member State and which criteria are used by public authorities.

While Article 17 does not explicitly refer to recreational fisheries, the European Commission has been very clear in the past that the wording of the article “does not exclude the extension of its scope to include recreational fishing,” – or to put it more simply, Member States are free to apply these principles to angling. But no Member State considers the social, economic and environmental impacts of the recreational fisheries when allocating fishing opportunities. This is a missed opportunity.

The Parliament resolution recalls this scope of the article and insists on the collection of robust data on the economic, social and environmental impacts of recreational fisheries. This would be the basis for the objective criteria needed to properly manage recreational fisheries according to the Article 17 principles. This thus implies that recreational fisheries should be considered by EU Member States in this context.

The full implementation of Article 17 to the recreational fisheries sector – and more broadly the fair integration of the sector into the CFP – would create further opportunities for the EU’s coastal, rural and remote communities.

The last RecFishing Forum event explored the benefits of including marine recreational fisheries in the CFP. During the event, Dr. Harry Strehlow (Thünen Institute) explained that the current allocation of fishing opportunities is solely driven by stock management decisions, completely ignoring the socio-economic value. Full inclusion of the recreational fisheries sector would boost the sector’s contribution to the blue economy and benefit society.
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