150 participants attended the joint OCEAN2012/WWF conference “Regional Fisheries Management: How to make it work for fisheries and the environment”.

The conference aimed to provide examples of regional management around the world, at different levels, to stimulate discussions on a more regionalised approach to fisheries management under a revised CFP.

The conference drew from experience in regional fisheries management in the USA, in the Languedoc-Roussilion region of France, in the Spanish province of Galicia, and in Scotland. It also benefitted from presentations on initiatives from HELCOM, OSPAR and NEAFC to integrate environmental and fisheries management issues at regional level. Finally, three scientists gave their opinion on the perspectives for the Mediterranean, the Baltic, and the North Seas.

During the discussions with the participants, it became evident that, while design and legal issues are still outstanding, there is general agreement that a more regionalised approach to fisheries management in the EU can contribute to overcoming problems of micro-management at the highest political level, and to designing measures which are more adapted to the realities of the regions where they will be implemented.

Participants identified different possible structures and highlighted the legal constraints to creating decentralised management bodies with power over a common EU policy.

Finally, David Symes concluded with the question that remained in the minds of those who attended the event:

“A system with different solutions for different regions – or ONE system for ALL regions? That, to me, is a very crucial question.”


Fisheries Secretariat news on the conference

European Commission website on the reform of the CFP

Seas At Risk conference on capacity reduction and fleet restructuring

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