Opinion Factsheet  

Proposte legislative sulla riforma della politica comune della pesca

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Opinion Number: CDR 239/2011
Rapporteur: STRUK Mieczysław
Commission: NAT
Status: Adopted
Date: 04/05/2012
 
supports the measures of the European Commission, which seek to limit the ongoing reduction of many stocks and guarantee the exploitation of marine biological resources at levels which make it possible to achieve the maximum sustainable yield by 2015, insofar as possible;
considers that where possible a ban on discards should be gradually introduced, primarily concerning industrial species yet permitting the dumping overboard of marine organisms which can survive once they have been thrown back into the sea;
draws attention to the potential risks and negative effects of a compulsory introduction of a system of transferable fishing concessions and recommends such systems should be voluntary and for each Member State’s competence;
recognises that the economic and strategic importance of aquaculture justifies measures to promote it through an independent regulation;
calls for increased regionalisation of the Common Fisheries Policy; fully supports introducing a process which takes into account the specificities and needs of the regions including cooperation with regional advisory councils (RACs), in order to adopt conservation measures and technical measures for the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy to allow for the policy to better address the realities and specificities of individual fisheries, including trans-border problems;
welcomes that the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) will be part of the new Common Strategic Framework and aligned with the other Regional and Rural funds; nevertheless calls for guarantees in relation to funding for fisheries and aquaculture, and for the regions to be involved in the strategic implementation of funds.
 Adopted on 10 December 2013 2013, the EP resolutions on the Common organisation of the markets in fishery and aquaculture products and on Common Fisheries Policy, converge on a number of points with the CoR opinion:
 Regarding maximum sustainable yield, recital 5 of the European Commission's (EC) proposal states that the EU should improve its Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) to ensure that exploitation levels of marine biological resources stocks are restored and maintained at levels capable of producing maximum sustainable yields (MSY) from the populations of harvested stocks by 2015. The CoR added "where possible", as for some species and stocks it might not be possible to achieve MSY by 2015. The Parliament's PECH Committee amended this recital in a similar way.
 Moreover, both the CoR and the EP disagree with Recital 29, which states that by the end of 2013, a system of transferable fishing concessions (TFC) should be implemented. The CoR text changes 'should' to 'may', and deletes the deadline, as the introduction of such a concession system should be a Member State competence and should not be mandatory. The recital was deleted altogether by the PECH Ctte.
 Building on the above, the CoR and PECH Ctte both disagree with recital 31 of the proposal, which states that "specific characteristics and socio-economic vulnerability of some small-scale fleets justify the limitation of the mandatory system of transferable fishing concessions to large vessels. The system of transferable fishing concessions should apply to stocks for which fishing opportunities are allocated". The CoR instead states that these characteristics justify promoting the concession system to large vessels (and thus deletes the word 'mandatory'). The PECH Ctte deletes the entire recital. Both thus again confirm the voluntary nature of the TFCs.
 Article 3 sets out the specific objectives of the CFP, one of which is to "promote the development of Union aquaculture activities to contribute to food security and employment in coastal and rural areas". The CoR opinion adds to this that this needs to be an 'ecologically sustainable' development. The PECH Ctte follows this line of thought by adding "ensuring that they are environmentally sustainable". The CoR also adds a specific objective of contributing "to the achievement and maintenance of good environmental status". The PECH Ctte follows this line of thought as it has the identical passage in its text.
 Another similarity in opinions can be detected in Article 4, concerning principles of good governance, which include "broad involvement of stakeholders at all stages from conception to implementation of the measures". Both the CoR and the Parliament add to this "in particular the advisory councils", to highlight the importance of regionalisation in the CFP. The PECH Ctte also adds "that ensures that regional special characteristics are preserved, through a regionalised approach".
 The EC definition of 'fishing mortality rate' as "the catches of a stock over a given period as a proportion of the average stock available to the fishery in that period" is changed by both the CoR and the PECH Ctte to "the rate at which individuals or biomass are removed from the stock by means of fishing operation".

 Article 8, regarding the types of technical measures, includes "modifications or additional devices to improve selectivity or to reduce impact on the benthic zone". The CoR replaces 'benthic zone' with 'marine environment'; as the article also applies to the pelagic zone. The EP replaces it with 'the ecosystem'.
 With respect to multiannual plans, article 9 states these should "where possible, cover either fisheries exploiting single fish stocks or fisheries exploiting a mixture of stocks, taking due account of interactions between stocks and fisheries". The CoR and the EP add that this should also take into account 'ecosystem issues in marine protected areas' and 'marine ecosystems' respectively. The CoR rapporteur, in his opinion, explains that the proper management of marine protected areas is one of the objectives of the convention on biological diversity. It is therefore natural that the common fisheries policy should take them into account.
 Both the CoR and the EP add the assessment of the socio-economic impact to the content of the multiannual plans in article 11. Moreover, the CoR proposes to add a 'response mechanism for unforeseen situations' in this article. The EP adds a clause on Member State emergency measures to Article 13.
 In article 15, regarding the obligation to land catches, the CoR adds that fishing gear shall be steered towards more selective types of gear and other techniques for avoiding unwanted catch. The EP amends this point in a similar way (article 14).
 Both the CoR and the EP add to Article 16, regarding fishing opportunities, the following paragraph: "Each Member State shall decide, for vessels flying its flag, on the method of allocating the fishing opportunities assigned to that Member State in accordance with Union law. It shall inform the Commission of that allocation method".
 Article 17 deals with conservation measures adopted in accordance with multiannual plans. The CoR adds that these shall be drawn up after obtaining the opinion of advisory councils. The EP adds that "Member States shall consult the relevant Advisory Councils … by sending them a draft of the measures to be adopted, accompanied by an explanatory memorandum".
 Article 53 specifies the tasks of advisory councils. The CoR adds a paragraph stating that the advisory boards shall be consulted for their opinion on multiannual plans and technical measures and proposed legislative measures affecting their area of competence; and propose management tools applicable to their area of competence in order to enable marine biological stocks to be managed in the best possible way with a view to the conserving those stocks. The EP amends it similarly.
 Finally, it is worth highlighting article 54 of the EC proposal, where the CoR adds 'representatives of the Member States in question', as well as 'recognised scientific bodies' to the composition of the advisory councils. The EP stresses, in this regard, that "Representatives of national and regional administrations having fisheries interests in the area concerned and researchers from the Member States' scientific and fisheries research institutes and from the international scientific institutions that advise the Commission shall be allowed to participate as observers".
THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS



- supports the measures of the European Commission, which seek to limit the ongoing reduction of many stocks and guarantee the exploitation of marine biological resources at levels which make it possible to achieve the maximum sustainable yield by 2015, insofar as possible;

- considers that where possible a ban on discards should be gradually introduced, primarily concerning industrial species yet permitting the dumping overboard of marine organisms which can survive once they have been thrown back into the sea;

- draws attention to the potential risks and negative effects of a compulsory introduction of a system of transferable fishing concessions and recommends such systems should be voluntary and for each Member State’s competence;

- recognises that the economic and strategic importance of aquaculture justifies measures to promote it through an independent regulation;

- calls for increased regionalisation of the Common Fisheries Policy; fully supports introducing a process which takes into account the specificities and needs of the regions including cooperation with regional advisory councils (RACs), in order to adopt conservation measures and technical measures for the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy to allow for the policy to better address the realities and specificities of individual fisheries, including trans-border problems;

- welcomes that the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) will be part of the new Common Strategic Framework and aligned with the other Regional and Rural funds; nevertheless calls for guarantees in relation to funding for fisheries and aquaculture, and for the regions to be involved in the strategic implementation of funds.