EFTTA and EAA (European Anglers Alliance) have participated actively in the Webinar of 23 March 2022, organized by the Recreational Fisheries and Aquatic Environment Forum:
"EXPLORING THE INCLUSION OF MARINE RECREATIONAL FISHERIES IN THE COMMON FISHERIES POLICY: OPPORTUNITIES & CHALLENGES"
The event was co-chaired by:
- MEP Pierre Karleskind (France, Renew Europe Group), Chair of the European Parliament's Fisheries Committee, and
- MEP Niclas Herbst (Germany, EPP Group)
Mr Karleskind stated: “fisheries are at the heart of the Common Fisheries Policy – ALL the fisheries."
Oliver Portrat, CEO of the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association (EFTTA), also recalled the relevance of the sector in socio-economic terms, underlining that its total economic impact is estimated to € 10.5 billion including 1.5 billion euros spent on angling tackle. “The recreational fisheries sector is too big to be ignored or mistreated by the CFP. Let’s not wait another 10 years to correct that,” he concluded.
David Vertegaal, the European Anglers Alliance (EAA), stressed that the recreational fisheries sector perfectly matches the CFP objectives. Recreational fisheries support local communities, have little impact on habitats and fit in the Biodiversity Strategy. “We call for the full inclusion of marine recreational fisheries in the CFP, so that a level playing field will emerge for the millions of Europeans who enjoy the sustainable use of fish as a public resource.”
Harry Strehlow, Research Associate at the Thünen Institute of Baltic Sea Fisheries called for a genuine acknowledgment and management of marine recreational fisheries in the CFP. He pointed out that the U.S. Fishery Conservation and Management Act acknowledges the recreational fisheries sector in its goal, objectives and allocation framework. 'Recreational fisheries' are mentioned 56 times in the Act, whereas the EU's CFP mentions 'recreational angling' only once. "We cannot discuss blue economy and blue growth while ignoring the recreational fisheries sector,” he said.
Fred Bloot, President of the EAA, concludes: “The outcome of today’s discussion is very clear: the recreational fisheries sector belongs in the CFP”. This should be stated clearly in the EU Parliament's upcoming report on the future perspectives of the CFP, and the EU Commission’s report on the functioning of the CFP to be published later this year.