On Wednesday 13 July the European Commission released a package of proposals for the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) based on extensive consultations and intensive work over the last 24 months.
This includes a raft of measures designed to reduce the overcapacity of the fishing fleet, end discards, promote resource conservation, and use science as the basis for fisheries management. One of the main measures proposed is the introduction of a mandatory system of transferable fishing concessions (on fishing opportunities for regulated stocks) as from 2014 for all vessels with the exception of vessels under 12 meters with passive gear. These measures don't reflect the necessity to adopt a differentiated approach to small-scale fisheries, nor the need for a deep and radical reform that puts socially and environmentally sustainable fishing practices at the heart of the CFP by prioritizing access for those operators who fish in the most sustainable manner. For more information and more reactions to the Commission's package, see our "Online Resources" page.
The reform of the European Union’s (EU) Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is a once in ten-year event. The current reform process is the third such in the entire history of the CFP, created in 1983, and reviewed in 1992 and 2002. The European Commission initiated a public consultation in April 2009, which was launched with the publication of the European Commission’s Green Paper on CFP Reform. Although the public consultation closed on December 31 2009, the reform process will extend up to 2013.
In order to make their voices heard, and to ensure that their rights are duly recognized in the reform process, small-scale fishers and their representatives need to form alliances with their counterparts in other parts of Europe. Over the next few months ICSF plans to facilitate a process to “strengthen and formalize small-scale fisheries networks” across Europe. This will build on the consensus achieved at the Brussels Workshop and take forward the issues raised in the Brussels Declaration. This will also build on the momentum of the La Coruña Declaration, which was developed by fishing, environment and development organizations in order to draw the attention of EU decision-makers to the challenges and opportunities of sustainable coastal and artisanal fishing.
For further information: Brian O’Riordan, Secretary ICSF Belgium Office, Sentier des Rossignols 2, 1330 Rixensart, Belgium. Tel: 02 6525201. E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ; Yann Yvergniaux, Project assistant, E mail: email@example.com