Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2018
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Fisheries and aquaculture are ancestral activities always undergoing construction and renewal to adapt to the ever-changing ocean scene in Europe and in the World.
The PECH Committee of the European Parliament faces the political challenge to maintain the conservation and sustainability of living marine resources in the European regional marine areas and in the oceans where the external European fleets operate. It must also balance this with preservation of the social conditions of fishers and the economy of their coastal communities while also considering the consumer’s food supplies.
In 2017, the studies requested by the PECH COM to the Policy Department responded to such criteria in three domains:
- The future of Common Fisheries Policy reform: review of topics such as marine recreational fisheries and the status of the outermost regions;
- A better adjustment within the European Maritime Policy: the emerging issues on Blue Growth and opportunities for traditional maritime activities, issues of governance and the role of fisheries organisations in the regional context;
- Preparing for the future: a workshop on Brexit, assessing the legal framework for governance; trade and economic related issues; fisheries resource management and research.
Studies presented in 2017:
The European Commission has developed a so-called ‘Blue Growth (BG) Strategy’ as the maritime dimension of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The seas and oceans are considered to provide great potential for innovation and growth. BG focuses on five key areas – blue energy, aquaculture, tourism, mineral resources and blue biotechnology – which have been identified as having high long term growth potential. Fisheries, being a traditional maritime activity is not integrated in the BG strategy, presumably because it is perceived as having limited potential for growth. Against this background, the European Parliament has commissioned this study on ‘Sustainable Blue Growth in the EU and Opportunities for Small-scale fisheries (SSF)’, which was awarded to Blomeyer & Sanz and prepared in the period October 2016 to February 2017.
This is the reference document of the Workshop on “Common Fisheries Policy and BREXIT” of 21th June 2017, organised by the Committee on Fisheries (COMPECH) and the Policy Department B (PECH Research) of the European Parliament. It is structured in three parts.
1. Legal framework for governance
2. Trade and economic related issues
3. Resources and fisheries.
The aim of the study is to provide the Members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries (PECH Committee) with a clear description of the role of fisheries in regional ocean governance in the European regional seas. Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) and Regional Seas Conventions (RSCs) are key actors in the (direct and indirect) regulation of fisheries. The study focuses on regional ocean governance of fisheries in the four European regional seas, i.e. the North East Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea. It describes the competences of regional organisations and assesses the mechanisms of cooperation and coordination among these organisations, together with their main outcomes. These descriptions are considered in view of the context provided by key EU policies such as the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), the EU Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU Regulation), the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive (MSPD).
Marine recreational and semi-subsistence fisheries could represent a significant source of fishing mortality, have impact on ecosystems, and interact with commercial fisheries and users of the marine environment. However, the evidence needed to manage these fisheries is often limited and difficult to collect, because of the large numbers of widely-distributed small fishing vessels and individuals on the shore, exploiting highly mixed fisheries using a variety of gear types. These challenges mean that significant components of fishing mortality are not well described, which may affect our ability to manage fisheries to achieve conservation targets. Moreover, marine recreational and semi-subsistence fisheries can have a high economic value, but this is not taken into account in management and allocation decisions within European fisheries management. The European Parliament Committee on Fisheries requested a study to evaluate the value and impact of recreational and semi-subsistence fishing within different regions of the EU and funded a consortium of Cefas, AZTI, and Thünen-OF to deliver the EURecFish project.
Union Outermost Regions are affected by handicaps deserving implementation of specific measures according to Article 349 of the TFEU. This Initial Briefing aims at establishing the extent to which fleet management rules adopted under the Common Fisheries Policy take sufficiently account of the specificities of the fishing sector in Outermost Regions, and at identifying relevant measures that could support the development of the sector in these regions. Study translated into ES, FR and PT.