“We’re all on the same page for the first time, and it’s amazing”, Wes Erikson, Commercial Fisherman
At the Hague Global Oceans Action Summit last month, Tom Grasso of the Environmental Defense Fund had the opportunity to facilitate a co-management workshop under the theme of ‘Models for Governance,’ featuring:
Wes Erikson: fourth generation Commercial Fisherman, British Columbia
Raul Garcia: Director of Fisheries, WWF Spain
Momo Kochen: Science and Programme Director, Fishing and Living, Indonesia
Cathy Demesa: Executive Director, Network of Sustainable Livelihoods Catalysts, (NSLC) Inc., the Philippines
Dr Sunoto: Advisor to the Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia
Attendees discussed the best way to achieve a transition from top down, centralised fisheries management to bottom up, community-led approaches. All agreed that successful co-management takes time, due to a need to build sustained trust and willing co-operation across different sectors such as fishermen, government, NGOs and processors – but that the investment of time pays major dividends. Read More »
Today the European Parliament adopted the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), which establishes the financial framework for the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) for 2014-20. The Council is expected to agree to the text in the coming weeks, after which the new EMFF will be officially adopted by the Institutions and published in the Official Journal in June, at which point it will formally enter into force.
The new EMFF is a clear step in the right direction and should assist Member States and the fishing industry to further reduce unsustainable fishing practices.
It offers financial assistance for a variety of measures aimed at implementing the reformed CFP. Particularly encouraging is the inclusion of:
Support for investments that enable fishermen to purchase fishing gear and equipment that avoids catching unwanted fish and that facilitates handling, landing and storage of unwanted species. This assistance will provide robust incentives for fishermen to change catching behaviour and ease the overall transition of the fishing industry to more sustainable practises. Read More »
Lyme Regis fishing boats. Photo Credit: Britt Groosman
Yesterday, the European Parliament approved the reformed Common Fisheries Policy—the final step in the legislative process heralding a new era in sustainability for European fish stocks. This formal ‘seal of approval’ from the Parliament mandates an end to overfishing, phasing out discards and restoring depleted fish stocks.
Commissioner Maria Damanaki said: “Today's vote by the European Parliament means that we now have a policy which will radically change our fisheries and will pave the way for a sustainable future for our fishermen and our resources. I am very grateful to both Parliament and Council for their commitment, vision and overall support for the Commission's proposals which mean we can now return to sustainable fishing in the short term and put an end to wasteful practices. The new CFP is a driver for what is most needed in today's Europe: a return to growth and jobs for our coastal communities.”
Commissioner Damanaki deserves a great deal of credit for her tenacity in seeing this deal through to its successful conclusion; both the Commission’s initial proposal and her strong determination to keep reform on track were key factors in the final outcome.
The new CFP will enter into force on 1 January 2014 with some measures in place thereafter, which means there is a lot of work to do to support member states in implementing the new policies. Here are some of the key changes to look for in 2014: Read More »
Fishing Boats in Kos Island, Greece. Photo Credit: Britt Groosman
After years of deliberation, the European Union has finalized proposals to reform the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), the EU’s framework for fisheries management. The new policy promises a better future for both fishermen and fish by providing a comprehensive management system designed to restore healthy marine environments while supporting profitable fisheries and thriving coastal communities. The new CFP, which will enter into force in January 2014, calls for Member States to take steps that will ultimately eliminate the wasteful practice of discarding fish at sea. It also requires fishing at sustainable levels by achieving Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY), and supports a regionalized approach through decentralized decision-making.
Funding transformative change:
These are ambitious requirements that must be adequately funded in order to achieve the policy objectives outlined by the new agreement. The CFP’s funding instrument – the European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) – will provide resources to help fishermen in the transition to sustainable fishing; supporting coastal communities in diversifying their economies; financing projects that create new jobs; and making it easier for fishermen to access adequate financing. The EMFF is being reformed simultaneously with the CFP and in late October the European Parliament voted in plenary on proposed amendments. Overall, the results are positive and outcomes – such as the refusal to subsidize the construction of new vessels and increases in funding for data collection and control of illegal fishing – gives hope that the EMFF will ultimately complement the new CFP and make true transformation possible. Read More »