Crunch time for CFP reform
By Chris Dove, SeafoodSource contributing editor, reporting from Malaga, Spain
27 January, 2011
Prior to the European Commission publishing a reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in May, a key seminar took place in Brussels on Tuesday, hosted by the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), the third largest political party in the European Parliament. The seminar was titled “Fish for the future: The need for an ambitious CFP reform.”
During the seminar, ALDE European Parliament members Chris Davies and Carl Haglund emphasized the need to create a legal framework for a sustainable European aquaculture industry that “respects the environment, increases its economic viability and offers consumers greater guarantees.”
Recognizing that aquaculture will not be the only solution to overfishing, ALDE is stepping up the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing as well as discards, offering solutions with regional advisory councils and fishermen, including possible incentives.
“IUU fishing has to be tracked, and emphasis should be put on control regulation, which should be standardized across the EU, with administrative — not criminal — sanctions,” said ALDE.
ALDE’s other CFP priorities include implementing an eco-labeling scheme for all seafood products.
The seminar’s speakers included Oliver Drewes, spokesperson for EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki; Ludwig Willnegger, head of public affairs at EDEKA, Germany’s largest fish retailer; Louize Hill, head of European marine and fisheries policy at the World Wildlife Fund’s European policy office; and Stéphanie Mathey, social and environmental affairs manager for Carrefour.
“It is necessary to have broad societal and political/Parliamentary support if we want to achieve real reform of fisheries policy,” said Drewes. “A cross party/stakeholder initiative could substantially contribute to this objective.”
Commenting on seafood eco-labeling, Willnegger said, “The commission’s efforts to establish minimum requirements for sustainability seals and aquaculture have our express support. This would lead to a recovery of fish stocks in our waters. European fisheries would therefore develop a role as a model for sustainability.”
Meanwhile, Hill welcomed a “once-in-a-decade opportunity” to change the way EU fisheries are managed. “Successful reform has the potential to create sustainable fisheries, livelihoods and subsequent economic benefits for society as a whole,” said Hill. “This reform should seek to maximize the economic benefits for society through the sustainable management of these vital and renewable resources for future food security.”
Carrefour added: “We have been making constant efforts to protect biodiversity and natural resources for the past 15 years. Our responsible fishing policy aims to achieve sustainability across our assortment, continue the fight against illegal fishing, and increase awareness and training of employees and customers.”
Damanaki’s CFP reform package is the key element of the Maritime and Fisheries 2011 Work Programme, which will take effect on 1 January 2013.
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27 January, 2011