EAA recommends Article 47 to be deleted in the draft for a new Fisheries Control Regulation

European recreational anglers have today called for Article 47 to be deleted from the draft of the new Community Fisheries Control Regulation.

In January, the European Anglers Alliance (EAA) delivered an “Initial Response” to the Commission, Parliament and Member States and has since then, along with its member organisations in each member state, provided additional information and input to the consultation. The EAA also held a meeting with Commissioner Joe Borg in April. For months a working group under the Council of Ministers, chaired by the Commission, has worked on improving draft texts, taking into consideration stakeholders’ input and the European Parliament’s opinions. The working group is done and has delivered a text for the Ministers to discuss at the Council (fisheries) meeting 19 October. The Ministers might adopt a final text at their November meeting. The new Control Regulation shall take effect 1 January.

EAA has worked proactively with the Commission, the working group under the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament in an attempt to make Article 47 (which would affect recreational fisheries) coherent, workable and fair towards recreational angling. The various draft texts have been changed somewhat in the right direction. However, much – far too much – is still unclear and unresolved. EAA believes that the timescale to resolve all outstanding issues concerning recreational fisheries properly before the deadline is far too short.

After careful consideration the EAA General Assembly has decided to call on the Council to delete Article 47 for the above and the following reasons:

  • Inclusion of a mechanism to control recreational fisheries is not justified by any factual evidence and should not be implemented without amending the basic EU CFP regulation.
  • It is essential to have an overview of how recreational catches are to be counted and dealt with today by a) individual Member States; b) ICES. Some catches are already counted for fully or partly under existing management schemes.
  • Quota implications as set out in Art 47(5) are not well thought-out and might have severe implications for the relative stability. Member states might be confronted with unsolvable questions as to the method for establishing a share of the current quota for recreational purposes,
  • The Member States do not have the capacity to control tens of thousands of boats and millions of anglers.
  • A too simplistic “extrapolation model” might be imposed on recreational angling, which most likely will mean too little quota of important recreational angling species. The socio-economic consequences for coastal areas and businesses, many of which depend on sportfishing, could be dramatic.
  • The CFP reform – to be finalised in 2012 – should be the starting point. A recreational fisheries chapter should be added before going into detail as to how to control these fisheries.

EAA, European Anglers Alliance Peter Mohnert, President of the EAA John Crudden, Board member and Chairman of the EAA Subgroup Sea Angling Jan Kappel, Secretary General