BRUSSELS — Today artisanal fishers and civil society groups are rallying in Brussels to deliver a declaration to the European Parliament, European Commission and the Council Presidency calling on them to deliver sustainable European fisheries through reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
168 groups from 17 EU member states have signed the declaration ahead of a European Parliament hearing on October 11 on how the proposed CFP reform will affect artisanal fishers. The majority of EU fishers are coastal and artisanal and often work in a less intensive manner, using a range of seasonally diverse fishing methods with a relatively low impact on the marine environment while contributing to the coastal and regional economy.
The new CFP must stop overfishing and reward those who fish in more environmentally and socially responsible ways with preferential access to fish resources. Despite artisanal fishers binding the social, economic and cultural fabric of coastal communities, they have been overlooked in the Commission’s drive for a reformed CFP which looks at quantity, but not at quality.Jerry Percy of the New Under Ten Fishermen’s Association (NUTFA) and OCEAN2012
The declaration calls on MEPs to deliver a CFP which:
“The European Commission predicts 60 percent of jobs in EU fisheries will be lost over the next ten years,” Percy continued. “And, unless something changes, most of these will be in the artisanal sector. We have come to Brussels to have our voice heard and to tell decision-makers that they can choose a CFP that delivers social and environmentally sustainable fisheries, if they listen to us.”
OCEAN2012 is an alliance of organisations dedicated to transforming European fisheries policy to stop overfishing, end destructive fishing practices and deliver fair and equitable use of healthy fish stocks.
OCEAN2012 was initiated, and is coordinated, by the Pew Environment Group, the conservation arm of The Pew Charitable Trusts, a nongovernmental organisation working to end overfishing in the world´s oceans.
The steering group of OCEAN2012 consists of the Coalition for Fair Fisheries Arrangements, Ecologistas en Acción, the Fisheries Secretariat, nef (new economics foundation), the Pew Environment Group and Seas At Risk.