Opinion Factsheet 

Technical measures in fisheries

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Opinion Number: CDR 2898/2016
Rapporteur: WESTLEY Emily
Commission: NAT
Status: Adopted
Date: 07/12/2016
 
to deliver feedback to the legislator taking into accont the local knowledge and the regional point of view in a regulation that will define European fisheries for years ahead

to defend the interests of European regions and fishing communities in the legislative process
support small scale fisheries as an environmentally friendly aternative

*1. European Parliament votes in favour of the request from EU regions to outlaw electric pulse fishing *

The CoR welcomes the outcome of the vote on the "Technical Measures" dossier, where in a surprise result on Tuesday 16 January 2018 the Parliament voted to ban electric fishing.
The strong recommendation against electric pulse fishing was adopted by the European Committee of the Regions as a part of a report on "Technical Measures in fisheries" addressed to the legislator. The opinion clarifies the point of view of EU's local and regional authorities on the matter, appealing to subject renewals of licenses for electric pulse fishing to scientific evaluation before renewing or removing their prohibited status.

CoR rapporteur Mrs Emily Westley (UK/PES), a local counsellor from Hastings, UK, stated that the outcome is "an important win for the environment and also for small scale fishermen that have used for generations traditional fishing methods". Hastings is home of the largest European beach-launched fishing fleet, and the developments in the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) are watched closely by local fishermen.

In the light of Brexit and increasing insecurity among small-scale fishermen about their future, the stage victory represents an important sign for many of them. "Working collectively is the only way to make the right decisions for local communities. Brexit is putting that relationship in serious danger of extinction and I call on all the decision makers to really consider the local and regional impacts of Brexit. How will the ordinary people’s voices be heard? "Mrs Westley added.

The draft law was a subject of heated debates among policy-makers, non-governmental organisations and fishermen, noted further Mrs. Westley, who as a part of her activities at the European Committee of the Regions undertook significant efforts to lobby fellow S&D and UK members of the European Parliament to pass legislation that is more friendly to small scale fishermen and local communities. The regulation, which now will enter into trilogue between Commission, Council and Parliament, will continue to be a cornerstone of the debate on CFP during the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the European Union.

2. MEPs seek to support small-scale fishing
link: https://politico.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=e26c1a1c392386a968d02fdbc&id=9a561df046&e=3e4475ffd3 *
link EP dossier: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?reference=2017/2119%28INI%29&l=en

The European Parliament today approved a non-legislative report on how to maximize the value chain in the fishing industry during a plenary vote in Strasbourg.

The report proposes changes to help processors and fishermen retain more value from their products, and boost the economy of local fishing communities. “Small-scale, artisanal and coastal fishing account for 83 percent of the fishing vessels active in the EU and 47 percent of total employment in the EU fisheries sector,” the report said.

Suggestions for improvements include better marketing to encouraging local consumption, and efforts to ensure public bodies like schools and hospitals buy local fish. MEPs also requested a labeling system for fish products “clearly indicating the country of origin.”

A total 604 EU lawmakers supported the report, 39 voted against and 6 abstained.

*Kait Bolongaro, Politico
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS

- appeals to the legislator and to Member States to tap all unused potential support and ecological benefit for small scale fisheries existing in the current CFP;

- considers the regionalisation an opportunity to develop a flexible system for active management of regional fisheries;

- underlines the need for trust-based approach and participation of all stakeholders in the reform;

- calls upon the Commission to take specific local features into account as regards minimum conservation reference sizes, and to allow Annexes V to X to be amended via a simplified procedure and in coordination with local and regional authorities;

- notes that small scale fishermen feel increasingly disconnected from policymaking due to the ineffective governance and overregulation from previous decades, followed by a ground-breaking reform that introduces multiple new regulations, including discard ban/landing obligation, regionalisation, multiannual plans and overhaul of technical measures, control regulation and data collection;

- reiterates its position that EU fisheries policy should form a central part of a broader blue growth strategy that takes into account the specificities of the fisheries sector, economic growth, employment and environment protection;

- requests that current licences for pulse trawling should be made subject to scientific (re assessment before being renewed or otherwise given a "non-prohibited" status.

Importance

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Meeting of CoR Rapporteur Westley with EP shadow rapporteur Briano

In a meeting that took place on 12 October 2016, CoR Rapporteur Westley met with the shadow rapporteur of the European Parliament Mrs Renata Briano (IT/S&D) to discuss the interinstitutional aspects of the draft regulation on "Technical measures". Both rapporteurs agreed that the framework conditions, as lised in the annexes, are essential part of the regionalisation, and should not be changed drastically in advance as a part of the negotiation process. Part of the discussion was also the fact that certain flecibility is needed to meet the needs of fishers on the ground.

 
12 Nov
 

Meeting With EU Presidency to discuss the draft opinion on "Technical Measures"

Working meeting with the presidency team on fisheries, including presentation on the dossier in Council working party and the work accomplished in the CoR.

 
08 Nov
 

NAT Commission Seminar in Hastings, UK

Members of the CoR NAT Commission will meet in Hastings, UK during a one-day seminar to discuss economic development in coastal towns based on fisheries. The event under the title "Implementation of Sustainable Innovative Projects in Coastal Towns:
Regions leading the Way" will enable the exchange of knowledge, experiences and know-how on local and regional strategies in terms of business development, local investments, tourism, rural policy and fisheries/maritime policy.

 
07 Oct
 

Meeting with LIFE Platform - Low Impact Fisheries of Europe

The NAT sectretariat met wit representatives of Low Impact Fishers of Europe, a platform dedicated to small-scale fishers who use low impact fishing gears and methods. Subject of the discussion was the impact of small-scale fisheries for small fishing communitues. The proceedings of the discussion were sent later to CoR Rapporteur Ms Emily Westley.

 
13 Sep
 

Meeting of the Rapporteur Ms Emily Westley with the European Commission

CoR Rapporteur on Technical Measures in fisheries met together with her team with European Commission officials to discuss the Proposal and the CoR draft opinion.

 
29 Aug
 

Working meetings with EC's DG MARE

The secretariat has held multiple working meetings with representatives of European Commission's directorate for maritime affairs and fisheries to present the ongoing works and get latest updates on the dossier, and the repporteur has been briefed accordingly. Similar contacts have been made with the responsible secretariats in the Council and the European Parliament.

 
15 Aug
 

Presentation of a Working Document on "Technical Measures in Fisheries"

During the 9th meeting of the CoR NAT Commission the rapporteur Ms Emily WESTLEY (UK/PES) presented the working document and discussed with NAT members the proposal on technical measeures and the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.

 
27 Jun
 

Debate on Small Scale Fisheries in European Coastal Communities and Regions

In the afternoon session of its 9th meeting, the CoR NAT Commission held a debate on the future of European small-scale fisheries with representatives of the European Parliament, the European Commission, the fishing industry and Fishermen. The accent of the discussion was the importance of small fisheries for the unique economic ecosystem of small coastal towns. After the end of the meeting, CoR members had a separate meeting with representatives from Croatian FLAGs and LAGs.

 
27 Jun
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