Seas At Risk member organisation Sciaena recently organised a media briefing for the Portuguese press on the recent implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy. Sciaena's President Gonçalo Carvalho was present to familiarise several journalists with a presentation and informal discussion on the reformed CFP that entered into force in 2014.

For the first time, the CFP included a number of sustainability goals clearly defined in its text. Two years on, Sciaena was seeking to make the media more aware of these criteria, and how inadequately they have been implemented to date, and also to discuss the next steps to take to ensure its success. Some of the key presentation ideas included:

  • Taking into account the latest data, overfishing is not decreasing as desired;
  • As agreed in the reform of the CFP, European Fisheries Ministers must set fishing limits that respect the scientific advice and that achieve the maximum sustainable yield already in 2016;
  • The fisheries of the European Union must be managed in the long-term by Multi-Year Plans in line with the reformed CFP.

The press briefing is a useful and innovative idea to increase the level of interest and knowledge in fisheries policy from national media. Only with better public awareness of the issues surrounding fisheries policy can we hope to create the political pressure for a more positive approach in 2016.

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