“The CFP needs an explicit mention of recreational sea fisheries”

The jobs generated by sea angling are as good as jobs generated by other sectors such as commercial fisheries and aquaculture, but that is nowhere to be seen in the proposed CFP, writes Jean Claude Bel and John Crudden.

We, the European Anglers Alliance (EAA) and the European Fishing Tackle Trade (EFTTA), have published a position paper, which includes six proposals for amendments to the CFP reform. We wish to turn attention to the fact that the CFP lacks an explicit mention of Recreational Sea Fisheries. We find that such a mention is needed to secure that our sector, recreational sea angling, is dealt with fairly and equitably under the CFP compared with other sectors such as commercial fisheries and aquaculture.

The World Bank released a report last month “HIDDEN HARVEST – The Global Contribution of Capture Fisheries” which states that: “Global estimated expenditures by approximately 220 million recreational fishers are about $190 billion [€153 billion] annually.”

For Europe alone we estimate that 8-10 million Europeans go sea angling. Their expenditures are 8-10 billion euros, which supports tens of thousands of jobs. This economy and jobs generated are as good and valid as economy and jobs generated by other sectors but that is not to see from the proposed CFP text.

These issues we also raised at the CFP reform ten years ago but to not much avail as the Commission’s CFP reform proposals of July last year gives no mention of recreational fisheries at all.

Our case today is even stronger than it was in 2001 as a number of legislative acts, adopted since 2002, relate explicitly to recreational sea fisheries. We show this by referring to four Regulations and two Decisions from recent years, adopted or to be adopted soon, which have specific provisions for recreational fisheries. We now have a situation where recreational fisheries are demonstrably included in legislation under the CFP, albeit on an ad-hoc, piece meal basis and almost exclusively in the context of the requirements and well-being of other fisheries sectors.

We believe the recreational sea fishing sector is of sufficient validity to warrant explicit recognition by the CFP alongside other sectors in a coherent way which results in the sector’s requirements being fully taken into account and dealt with as those of other sectors. The CFP can, and should, provide a just and level playing field for all stakeholders without prejudicial or discriminatory treatment. In this regard the EU is decades behind the USA and other advanced nations.

We also take this opportunity to plea for a definition on “mixed stock (salmon) fisheries” to be included the CFP. “Mixed fisheries” is defined but not “mixed stock fisheries”. We suggest the inclusion of the definition given by NASCO, which is already agreed on by the EU in 2009: – ‘Mixed stock fishery’ means a fishery exploiting a significant number of salmon from two or more river stocks.

Jean Claude Bel, CEO of EFTTA
John Crudden, EAA Board Member, Chair of the EAA´s Subgroup Sea Angling

EAA, the European Anglers Alliance is composed of key angling organisations from 14 European countries with about 3 million members. Web: www.eaa-europe.eu
EFTTA, the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association is the leading European trade association for manufacturers and wholesalers of sportfishing equipment. Web: www.eftta.com

Joint EAA and EFTTA input to the reform of the CFP; May 2012
“HIDDEN HARVEST – The Global Contribution of Capture Fisheries; 1st May 2012

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