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31 December 2009

The call for responses on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy closed on 31st December 2009 and SAR contributed several submissions.

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16 December 2009

The conclusions from Seas At Risk’s conference on capacity reduction and fleet restructuring can be downloaded from a link to this article in the form of a report.

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01 December 2009

With the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty today, the decision-making procedure under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) has changed significantly.

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21 October 2009
Seas At Risk held a one day conference on capacity reduction and fleet restructuring, which took place in Brussels on the 21st of October 2009. Towards sustainable European fisheries: The double challenge of restructuring and reducing the fishing fleet.

The Common Fisheries Policy is currently being reviewed and overcapacity has been identified as one of the most serious problems by the European Commission. Seas At Risk agrees with the Commission’s analysis but feels that an important angle of the reduction debate is being neglected: the quality of the fleet that should result of reduction efforts. A revised CFP will have to take the opportunity not only to reduce capacity, but also to reduce it in such a way as to keep the most low impact sectors of the fleet and cut the most destructive and unsustainable fleet sectors. The conference addressed the link between capacity reduction and sustainability criteria. The objectives of the conference were: - To convey the message that the reform of the CFP presents the ideal opportunity to not only reduce fishing capacity, but also to restructure the EU fleet so as to obtain a low impact, climate friendly and socially responsible fleet. - To define what sort of fleet is to be desired as an end result – should social and environmental criteria play a role in the decommissioning process? - To identify adequate management tools which can deliver such a fleet. The audience was be made up of policy and decision makers, NGOs and industry, and the conference programme included substantial discussions on how to best reach environmental, social and economic targets while reducing and restructuring the Community's fishing fleet. Please feel free to contact Natalie Kontoulis (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for any further information.

Conference Report Registration form for conference

 

Conference ProgrammeConference Programme Partcipants' details A to Z Sophie des Clers' presentationAstrid Scholz's presentation Hans Polet's Presentation Hans Polet's Presentation Per Sandberg's presentationPer Sandberg's presentation Dale Squires' presentation Marloes Kraan's presentation Aniol Esteban's presentation Axel Wenblad's presentation
20 October 2009

Conclusions of the Fisheries Council meeting in Luxembourg on 19 and 20 October.

The Fisheries Council was dominated by the Commission's proposals for a root-and-branch reform of the CFP control framework and for fishing possibilities in the Baltic Sea for 2010. The Control Regulation, proposed last November, has now been approved by Council and will enter into force on 1 January 2010. Delays have been agreed for a number of articles to enable Member States to be fully prepared to implement all measures in the Regulation. Ministers resolved the final outstanding issues, including a degree of harmonisation of sanctions, a new penalty points system, a payback system for overfished quotas and provisions to allow for the suspension of Community assistance in the event of non-compliance by Member States with the agreed control provisions. Furthermore, it was agreed that, for now, recreational catches will not be counted against national quotas. Saskia Richartz, EU oceans policy adviser for Greenpeace, told SeafoodSource that the control regulation would be a step forward, cautioning that “the devil is in the detail.” Speaking from Luxembourg after attending the October Fisheries Council, Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said the original control regulation, in place since 1983, was “in desperate need of renewal in light.” Council also reached political agreement on the Commission proposal on fishing possibilities for fish stocks in the Baltic Sea for 2010.quotas were increased 15 percent in the eastern Baltic and 8.6 percent in the western Baltic. “Cod stocks have shown a welcome improvement. It was possible to allow a slight increase in the cod quotas for the coming year in line with scientific advice,” said the Swedish EU Presidency in a statement following the meeting. the western herring stock continues to cause serious concern, prompting Council to agree on a 16.5% reduction. Furthermore, a 12% reduction for the central herring stock and 5% reductions for sprat and for salmon in the Main Basin were also approved. The changes in TACs agreed in Luxembourg will contribute to the ultimate aim of achieving the long-term sustainable exploitation of stocks. Photograph by MERIS, ESA Envisat image.

Seas At Risk/FISH letter to Ministers ahead of Fisheries Council Commission press release Council Press release

 

15 October 2009

Seas At Risk held its annual conference on 21st October on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.

The conference title was "Towards sustainable European fisheries: The double challenge of restructuring and reducing the fishing fleet." The Common Fisheries Policy is currently being reviewed and overcapacity has been identified as one of the most serious problems by the European Commission. Seas At Risk agrees with the Commission’s analysis but feels that an important angle of the reduction debate is being neglected: the quality of the fleet that should result of reduction efforts. A revised CFP will have to take the opportunity not only to reduce capacity, but also to reduce it in such a way as to keep the most low impact sectors of the fleet and cut the most destructive and unsustainable fleet sectors. The conference addressed the link between capacity reduction and sustainability criteria. The objectives of the conference were: - To convey the message that the reform of the CFP presents the ideal opportunity to not only reduce fishing capacity, but also to restructure the EU fleet so as to obtain a low impact, climate friendly and socially responsible fleet. - To define what sort of fleet is to be desired as an end result – should social and environmental criteria play a role in the decommissioning process? - To identify adequate management tools which can deliver such a fleet. The audience was made up of policy and decision makers, NGOs and industry, and the conference programme will allow for substantial discussions on how to best reach environmental, social and economic targets while reducing and restructuring the Community's fishing fleet. For more information please see our Events section or contact Natalie Kontoulis This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Photograph by Sascha Regmann/Project Blue Sea/MarinePhotobank.

Participants details A to Z
29 September 2009

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.” OCEAN2012 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

28 September 2009

President Barroso says that the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy is an opportunity for "root and branch reform" during the Spring Alliance conference.

The Spring Alliance is a broad-based movement pushing for an EU that places people and planet at the centre of policymaking. It was established by four leading civil society organisations – the European Environmental Bureau (a member of Seas At Risk), the European Trade Union Confederation, Social Platform and Concord – and is composed of groups and individuals from civil society and beyond. Civil society representatives came together at the European Economic and Social Committee at a High Level Conference with participation of José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, the European Commissioner for the Environment Stavros Dimas and Ola Alterå, State Secretary to Maud Olofsson, Minister for Enterprise and Energy of Sweden. During his intervention, Mr Barroso expressed support for the Spring Alliance manifesto text on unsustainable fishing, which was drafted by Seas At Risk. The President of the Commission said that the Spring Alliance was right to highlight unsustainable fishing in the document. He added: “In April this year, we launched a major debate on the future of the Common Fisheries Policy. We are legally bound to review certain elements of it in 2012, but have decided to seize the opportunity for a root-and-branch reform. “ Mr Barroso added that “we must make ecological sustainability the basic premise of the policy; economic and social sustainability will follow from that. “ He also used the opportunity to express his disappointment at the fact that Member States did not unanimously back a proposal to the support the temporary ban on international trade in Atlantic blue fin tuna under CITES. The European Commission have backed the proposal originally made by Monaco as an attempt to protect the species from extinction.

Link to Spring Alliance website Spring Alliance Conference Press Release
22 September 2009

Six countries in the Mediterranean region have stood in the way of co-sponsoring a proposal on a ban on trading blue fin tuna.

Despite the European Commission deciding to support Monaco’s proposal to ban trade in blue fin tuna, Malta, Cyprus, Spain, Italy, France, and Greece blocked the initiative. The rest of the 27 EU Member States either supported or remained neutral on the proposal.

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09 September 2009

Commissioners Joe Borg and Stavros Dimas have backed a proposal to suspend international trade of Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna to protect ailing stocks from overfishing.

The European Commission agreed to adopt a joint position supporting a proposal submitted by Monaco in July to list Atlantic bluefin tuna on Appendix I of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Faunas and Flora), which would effectively ban international trade of the species.

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19 August 2009

Many Swedish fishermen have applied for subsidies to scrap their boats. In the UK it is estimated that 20% of west coast fishermen would welcome a similar scheme.

The European Union has given three quarters of the funds to the decommissioning programme in Sweden, which aims to reduce Sweden's capacity to catch cod by 50% by 2015.

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20 July 2009

Germany is the latest country to support Monaco's call to list Atlantic bluefin tune on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES.

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25 June 2009

The Pew Environment Group and EU Transparency launched www.fishsubsidy.org, a new website dedicated to presenting data on fishing subsidies between 1994 and 2006.

This means both the public and those working in EU institutions can see for themselves who has been receiving EU subsidies.

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08 June 2009

Today sees the launch of OCEAN2012, a new coalition of NGOs dedicated to transforming European fisheries policy. Its mission is to prevent over-fishing and enhance human well-being, and Seas At Risk is one of its founding members.

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22 April 2009

The European Commission has published its Green Paper on the Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. The document contains an analysis of the problems underlying the current policy and provides a basis for discussions on reform.

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05 November 2008

The Seas At Risk "Climate & Oceans" conference took place in Brussels on the 5th November 2008. The speakers drew the attention of the public to the marine impacts of climate change and the mitigation challenges facing the fishing and shipping industries.

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24 June 2008

Environment groups welcome the Fisheries Council's decision on IUU fisheries, but strongly oppose the proposed measures to tackle rising fuel prices and regret that no precautionary measures to freeze the footprint of deep water fisheries have been adopted.

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19 December 2007

Brussels, 19th December 2007. Political short-termism triumphed again last night when the Fisheries Council continued its annual tradition of ignoring scientific advice and authorising continued over-fishing.

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05 December 2006

Brussels, 5th December 2006. Despite consistent advice from fisheries scientists over the last 5 years to stop the catching of cod*, the Commission has again proposed that European fisheries ministers agree fishing opportunities for cod, and reduced those opportunities by just 25% compared with 2006.

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20 September 2005

Early in 2004, the Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal, took the Council of the European Union to the European Court of Justice in an attempt to annul that part of the Western Waters Regulation which in 2004 opened Azorean waters to fleets of other EU Member States. The Western Waters Regulation, a regulation under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), contains little in the way of environmental considerations and contrasts sharply with the more environmentally-friendly fisheries management regime that it replaced.In a ground-breaking development, Seas At Risk, WWF and Greenpeace applied and were granted leave to intervene in support of the Azores. The hearing on the case will take place on the 14th June 2007. If the Azores are successful with their environmental arguments, an important legal precedent could be set for the integration of environmental requirements into the CFP.

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