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The Advisory Councils after the reformed Common Fisheries Policy

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The collection of marine and maritime human activities data is essential for the effective management of our seas and oceans in a sustainable way. EMODnet Human Activities is making available information regarding geographical position, spatial extent and attributes of a wide array of marine and maritime human activities. The idea is to extend this throughout Europe using the latest advances in technology.

A better knowledge to improve the management and the dialogue with stakeholders have been essential for achieving the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). In addition, the use of stakeholders’ knowledge and experience could suppose a benefit for the Advisory Councils, mostly about the different conditions of Union waters and the increased regionalisation of the CFP.

The European Union is the largest fish market and net importer of fishery products in the world. Fisheries management includes control over access to water, fishing effort and technical measures. All the regular controls are based on scientific data and measures to ensure the respect of the rules. In addition, producers are responsible for the sustainable exploitation of natural resources. These allow consumers to have more information about the products that can be purchased in the EU markets.

Europe 2020Nowadays we are engaged in an ambitious reform of EU fisheries policy that will contribute to the Europe 2020 strategy. This reform is implementing the conditions for a better future for fish, fisheries and the marine environment. The new strategies of the multi-annual ecosystem-based management plan include: banning discards, making fishing profitable, supporting the small-scale fisheries, developing sustainable aquaculture, improving scientific knowledge, decentralising governance, empowering the sector (new market policies) and improving the information to consumers with a modern and adapted financial instrument for taking international responsibility.

One important issue in the Common Fisheries Policy reform is to improve the good governance in fisheries management. Considering the good work developed by the existing Advisory Councils in terms of governance and participatory approach (Baltic Sea AC, Long Distance AC, Mediterranean Sea AC, North Sea AC, North-western waters AC, Pelagic stocks AC, South-western waters AC),  four new Advisory Councils were created to enable the participation of more stakeholders in the fisheries sector, other NGOs and policy makers, etc. These new AC were proposed by the CFP reform in order to attend the needs and demands in fisheries and aquaculture sectors. They are the following:

  • Outermost regions AC (three sea basins: Western Atlantic, Eastern Atlantic and Indian Ocean)
  • Aquaculture AC
  • Markets AC
  • Black Sea AC

The aim of these new AC’s is the integration of knowledge and experience in each geographical area or areas of competence. The collaboration of stakeholders with scientist in the collection, provision and data analysis will be encouraged. In addition, these ACs will be able to submit recommendations and/or proposals related to fisheries and aquaculture management, including socioeconomic factors and conservation issues.

The ongoing work helps EU countries to optimise the sea monitoring programs. The European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) website allows engineers and scientist the access to the available data for a given sea basin. The goal of the Common Fisheries Policy reform is to achieve a more decentralised governance, new regulations and more cooperation among stakeholders.

The information and views set out in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Commission. Neither the European Commission nor any person acting on the European Commission's behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information therein.

October 21st, 2016 | Written by

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