On Tuesday 9 May, the European Parliament adopted in plenary session MEP Clara Aguilera‘s report on the co-management of fisheries, which recognises the recreational fisheries sector’s importance for coastal communities and the need to include this sector in fisheries management.
Co-management of fisheries is an approach which consists of involving users of public resources, i.e. fish stocks, and thus local communities in the management decisions. In such settings, local communities and government share the responsibility for fisheries management and fish stock protection. As users of the sea and belonging to local communities, anglers have rightfully their place in the co-management systems, bringing their experiences and their observations to the decision-making process.
The report of MEP Clara Aguilera encourages the implementation of co-management systems to help achieve the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) goals and the EU’s nature conservation and restauration objectives.
The report also acknowledges the socio-economic importance of the recreational fisheries sector for coastal communities. It is recalled that the sector provides 100 000 jobs across Europe and contributes up to 10.5 billion euros to the economy every year, counting only its marine segment, and therefore requiring inclusion in co-management systems.
Going further, the European Parliament notes that “implementing co-management in the CFP is also an opportunity for a better recognition and management of recreational fisheries in this policy”.
EFTTA welcomes this report and is pleased that amendments based on our suggestions have been included in the final text. This holistic approach will benefit a great number of people and the environment. EFTTA also hopes that this approach to fisheries management indeed translates into a better recognition of the recreational fishing sector in the CFP in general.