The Secretary General of the Spanish Fisheries Confederation (CEPESCA), Javier Garat, has been re-elected as President of the European Fisheries Association, Europêche. The Dutch representative, Gerard van Balsfoort, President of the Pelagic Freezer-Trawlers Association (PFA), and the French delegate, Marc Ghiglia, Chief Executive of the United Fishing-Vessel Owners’ Organisation of France (UAPF) have also been re-elected as vice-presidents. The management team appointment was unanimously agreed by members of Europêche during the General Assembly held today. Europêche, the foremost trade body representing the fishing industry in Europe, continues relying on the expertise of the board to address the many challenges faced by the sector and promote a new narrative to refresh the image of the sector.
At the Plenary meeting held yesterday, the EU Social Partners in the Fisheries Sector – Europêche, Cogeca and ETF - welcomed the presentation of the Parliamentary draft report “Fishers for the future: Attracting a new generation of labour to the fishing industry and generating employment in coastal communities” of the Member of the European Parliament, Manuel Pizarro. While acknowledging the report as an important step in the right direction, social partners call on the policy-makers to recognize the key social dimension of fishing, thus improving the health and safety of fishers and attracting youth to the sector.
As part of the Green Deal, the European Commission has announced the goal to increase the EU’s offshore energy production twenty times to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The European Commission aims to meet this target while at the same time managing the maritime space sustainably. A recent study  commissioned by the EU Executive body puts forward a set of recommendations for positive interactions between fisheries and offshore wind farms. The fishing sector is sceptical about the main findings of this study which downplays the conflicts and echoes the myth of a so-called “happy co-existence” built by the wind energy sector. Likewise, the authors neglect the negative environmental impacts of windfarms and even more so the socio-economic consequences on the fishing communities.