In next week’s meeting between the European Union’s fisheries ministers in Vigo, Spain, Seas At Risk and the Fisheries Secretariat have urged the ministers involved to support a ‘root and branch” reform of the CFP.

In next week’s meeting between the European Union’s fisheries ministers in Vigo, Spain, Seas At Risk and the Fisheries Secretariat have urged the ministers involved to support a ‘root and branch” reform of the CFP.

A joint letter from both organizations (see link below) was sent to ministers earlier this month, in preparation of the European Union’s Fisheries Council meeting on April 18. However, the meeting was cancelled due to the effect of the Icelandic volcano’s ash cloud.

In light of the cancellation, at the planned informal meeting between fisheries ministers next week, further discussions regarding the reform of the CFP will be incorporated.

In what can be considered as a “root and branch” reform of the CFP, Seas At Risk and the Fisheries Secretariat have called on ministers to consider and act on the following key principles:

• Prioritising environmental objectives: fisheries management should be based on the precautionary and ecosystem-based approaches.

• Phasing out public aid sustaining overcapacity.

• Adopting a improved decision-making framework, ensuring that decisions are taken in a transparent matter, at the appropriate level and allow for effective stakeholder participation.

• Granting access to fishing resources based on environmental and social criteria: the new system should favor less destructive fishing gear and practices, compliance with the law, low fuel consumption, decent working conditions and high quality products.

• Defining instruments and competencies which deliver sustainable fishing capacity at EU and regional level.

The reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) will also be discussed at a stakeholder conference in La Coruña on May 2 – 3, which precedes the informal ministers meeting in Vigo on May 4 – 5.

Issues being addressed at the stakeholder conference – where Seas At Risk will be in attendance – will include: governance, access and resource management and the differentiated regime for small-scale and coastal fisheries. These matters in particular are considered amongst the top priorities in the review of the CFP.


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