The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) organized a conference yesterday on ‘EU food sovereignty: the role of agriculture, fisheries and consumers’. The event addressed the importance of food production in the EU, the role of the primary sector and of consumers in ensuring strategic autonomy. As part of the panel, Europêche regretted that despite the generalised improvement in the state of fish stocks, the EU’s self-sufficiency has been steadily declining in the last decade. Currently, the EU only produces 30% of the fish it consumes. As a consequence, Europêche called for a structural shift within the European Commission, specifically proposing the establishment of a dedicated Fisheries Commissioner for the term 2024-2029, separate from environmental affairs, with a strong focus on ensuring food security.
The European fisheries sector met this morning with Commissioner Sinkevičius in view of the sharp rise in energy and logistics prices due to the invasion of Ukraine.
If the activity collapses, there could be problems with the supply of fishery products in a matter of weeks.
Europêche, the representative body for fishermen and fishing vessel owners in the EU, had the privileged to receive Mr Karmenu Vella (Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) and Dr Andreina Fenech (Director General, Ministry for Sustainable Development, Environment and Climate Change) as guests of honour at Europêche’s General Assembly held at Koperattivi Malta headquarters. Both the Commissioner and the Director General coincided in valuing optimistically the positive trend in European fisheries and listened to the industry’s concerns regarding current developments on fisheries policies, particularly the landings obligation. All parties showed a strong commitment to reverse the situation in the Mediterranean by adhering to the ambitious targets set in the Malta MedFish4Ever Declaration.
At the Plenary session held on 4th November 2016, the EU Social Partners in the fisheries sector* had a positive meeting with Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, to discuss the many pressing issues facing the fishing sector; particularly concerning safety, health and working conditions at sea.
President of Europêche, Javier Garat, was key speaker at a public debate held at Europe's biggest industry event, the global Seafood EXPO in Brussels hosted by Commissioner Vella. During the debate, the Commissioner launched a 'Mediterranean Strategy' and a call for action to halt environmental degradation and the threat for many vulnerable fishing communities.
Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, was guest of honour at this week's Europêche General Assembly meeting which was chaired by the Europêche President, Javier Garat. For up to two hours, the Commissioner listened to the European concerns regarding current developments on fisheries policies, in the framework of the new Common Fisheries Policy.