The European Commission is due to submit a CFP report before the end of this year (2022). This report will give us a better idea whether the commission has reconsidered its position in favour of a new positive view of recreational angling. EFTTA has made every effort to communicate this understanding to the appropriate people in the Commission. The CFP is expected to be revised again in 2025. This review will be given high priority in EFTTA's lobbying activities.
Recreational fisheries are hardly mentioned in the current EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). As a result recreational anglers and the dependentes business have suffered because of declining fish stocks and lack of bigger fish. In many cases anglers' fishing access have been restricted or even banned.
This, unfortunately, is a big mistake since more than 9 million Europeans practice recreational fishing at sea every year, with a total economic impact amounting to 10.5 billion Euro and almost 100,000 jobs… This is far bigger than the income and employment which are generated by the commercial sea fisheries in Europe…
To raise awareness of this imbalance between commercial and recreational fisheries – EFTTA, together with the European Anglers Alliance (EAA), has intensively lobbied over the past years for a full and fair inclusion of recreational angling in the CFP.
As a result, EFTTA has made concrete proposals to the European Parliament to ask the European Commission:
to improve the collection of data on the environmental, social and economic impacts of marine recreational fishing in Europe
to evaluate the role of marine recreational fisheries in the CFP, in order to safeguard and foster the sector’s growth, development and contribution to the sustainable blue economy
to fully and fairly include the recreational fisheries sector in the CFP as a distinct sector alongside commercial fisheries and aquaculture
to make EMFAF funding available for specific aspects of recreational fishing, to ensure the development of the sector and depending activities and to further their contributions to the sustainable blue economy
In the current Common Fisheries Policy (CFP 2013) recital 3 is the sole reference in the field of recreational angling:
“(3) Recreational fisheries can have a significant impact on fish resources and Member States should, therefore, ensure that they are conducted in a manner that is compatible with the objectives of the CFP.”
However, the connotation is a negative one, not in favour of the recreational angling industry. In reality, the recital concerns only the recreational sector’s catches, not the sectors value or the jobs generated. This, to make sure that recreational fishers don’t take too much of certain fish species of interest to commercial fishers.