ASSOCIATION OF NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS OF FISHING ENTERPRISES IN THE EUROPEAN UNION

Press Releases

Fishers call for priority access to the COVID-19 vaccine

European social partners in the fisheries sector, ETF and Europêche, call on the European Commission to support Member States in developing a specific COVID-19 vaccination protocol for fishers, adapting and prioritizing their access to the vaccine. Considering their recognition as essential workers and the particularities of the fishers' workplaces and working patterns, the social partners have put forward practical guidelines that can help accelerate the process.

Mandatory cameras overshadow the revision of fisheries control rules

This morning, the European Parliament adopted its position on a new set of rules meant to revise the Union Fisheries Control System. In general terms, the Parliament position improves the proposal from the European Commission modernising control and enforcement measures without penalising or creating excessive bureaucracy to fishers. Particularly positive were the changes introducing more flexibility on the margin of tolerance for weight estimates done by fishers on board and the exemption of engine power monitoring devices for fisheries subject to catch limits. However, there is a huge elephant in the room, the mandatory installation of cameras to control a failed EU policy, the landing obligation. In this context, Europêche hopes that governments address this “big brother” issue within the Council in the following months.

Open letter to Commissioner Sinkevicius criticising the spread of damaging information

Last Friday an “explanatory note” on the revision of the EU-fisheries control system1 was reportedly circulated by the European Commission services to a few Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), mainly within the Committee on Environment. The note sounded the alarm about the position democratically adopted in the Committee on Fisheries (PECH) which “could reward and legalise underreporting, lead to massive overfishing and allow illegal discards to continue undetected and threaten the sustainable exploitation of marine biological resources”. According to Europêche, these statements unfairly put into question the good record of compliance of EU fleets, damages the image of the sector, lacks empathy with fishers and connection with fisheries’ realities. On top of that, the note clearly interferes the independent co-legislator role of the European Parliament.

News

iFish, We Fish

The commercial fisheries of the EU stretch for thousands of square miles, from the inhospitable seas of the Arctic North, to the warmer and more favourable climes of the Southern Mediterranean. These communal waters harbour a plethora of commercial species of fish and shellfish, the landings of which form an integral part of the economies of 23 member countries, accounting for a colossal 4.9 million tonne catch, from a fleet of 87,500 vessels, a statistic that indicates a world ranking of 5th largest in terms of total output.

European Projects

Home by the Sea -Can fisheries and wind farms co-exist?

Sustainable fishing activities require space as does the development and operation of offshore wind farms. In order to safeguard the future of our seas and oceans, the EU adopted back in 2014 a Directive for maritime and coastal spatial planning urging Member States to ensure that human activities at sea take place in an efficient, safe and sustainable way and reduce users’ conflicts. At the same time, to tackle climate change, EU governments are determined to answer to the EU’s Paris Agreement nationally determined contribution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990. For this purpose, some countries are pushing to increase offshore wind power 40-fold by 2030 in Europe.

Needless to say, the European wind industry has an ambitious plan, hereby claiming a vast amount of space. Therefore, the question 'Can fisheries and wind farms co-exist?’ is a relevant but complex question which will become more pressing in the near future.

Home by the Sea by Hiske Ridder. www.conpuls.nl

On behalf of and many thanks to: Job Schot, Dirk Kraak and Cor Vonk,  www.vissersvoorvrijezee.nl. Julien Theore, Silvain Gallaisl and Olivier Becquet, https://pecheursartisans.com. Bertrand Wendling, https://sathoan.fr. Pim Visser, VisNed.nl. Rosalie Tukker, http://europeche.chil.me.