The Secretary General of the Spanish Fisheries Confederation (Cepesca), Javier Garat, has been re-elected as President of the European Fisheries Association, Europêche. The election was unanimously agreed upon by the members of Europêche during the General Assembly held yesterday in Brussels. The Dutch representative, Gerard van Balsfoort, President of the Pelagic Freezer-Trawlers Association (PFA), and the French delegate, Marc Ghiglia, Chief Executive of the United Fishing-Vessel Owners’ Organisation of France (UAPF) have also been re-elected as vice-presidents. Europêche, the foremost trade body representing the fishing industry in Europe, continues relying on the expertise of the managing team to positively contribute and address the many challenges ahead faced by the European fishing sector.
The European Commission has published yesterday the new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) as part of the package of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The new fisheries fund will cover the budgetary period 2021-2027 with a financial envelope of €6.14 billion. This represents a 5% drop compared with the current EMFF budget (2014-2020) mainly to compensate the upcoming Brexit gap in the EU budget. Europêche calls on co-legislators to adopt the new fund before the end of the current legislative term, increase the budget allocation for sustainable fisheries, ease access to funding for all fishermen and enlarge the scope of the priorities proposed by the Commission.
Today, a delegation of fishing representatives from Europêche met with Mr Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries to discuss the main topics at the top of the political and legislative fisheries agenda in the EU. Both Commissioner Vella and Europêche credited the great progress in achieving sustainable fisheries with already 97% of the landings in the North East Atlantic coming from EU managed stocks fished at Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) levels. The sector showed support to Commissioner Vella to continue proposing the necessary legislation to implement the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), however called for rational policies which take into consideration socio-economic aspects and that can be implemented in practice.
Mr Aguiar Machado, Director General of the Directorate-General for Fisheries in the European Commission (DG MARE), met today with a delegation of fishing representatives from Europêche to discuss industry’s concerns relating to recent political and legislative developments at European and international level. Both Mr Machado and Europêche positively valued the good results in achieving sustainable fisheries, leading to healthier stocks and greater socio-economic benefits for the sector. However, the sector recalled the importance to adopt workable measures that can realistically be applied by the industry which has not been the case with the landing obligation. In addition, Europêche requested further efforts and diplomatic pressure for more fisheries agreements with 3rd countries which must be linked to trade and regional policies.