Commissioner Damanaki heard by the UK Parliament Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee on the EU Common Fisheries Policy reform
This morning, Commissioner Damanaki was heard by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee of the UK Parliament on the Commission proposals for a reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy.
Questions of the Members of Parliament covered a wide range of issues: the Commission proposal for a gradual ban on discards, ways of reducing EU fleet's overcapacity, the introduction of a system of transferable fishing concessions and the end of decommissioning subsidies, regionalisation of decision-making and the role of Regional Advisory Councils and Producers' Organisations, the new sustainable fisheries agreements with third countries.
The social impact of the proposed reform was also addressed and Commissioner Damanaki described how she intends to finance the fishing sector and small scale fishermen in particular in the transition towards sustainable fisheries.
Today, Commissioner Damanaki met with the representatives of social partners in the fisheries sector. She ensured Mrs Maria José Gonzales and Mr Flemming Smidt (Chair and Deputy-Chair of the Social Sector Dialogue Committee for Sea Fisheries, respectively) of her commitment to further improve social dialogue. .
The social partners and the Commissioner discussed key elements of the Commission's proposal for the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and other initiatives aiming at improving working conditions, training and mobility of fishermen. The Commissioner in particular stressed the importance of the adequate representation of fishermen, both employed and self-employed.
Commissioner Damanaki visiting London to discuss the proposals for a reform of the Common Fisheries Policy with Members of Parliament and stakeholders
On Thursday 27 October, Commissioner Damanaki will be exchanging views with the Members of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee of the UK Parliament on the Commission proposals for a reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy.
The oral evidence session is due to take place in the Grimond Room, Portcullis House, starting at 11.00AM BST and it will be webstreamed live (more information).
On Monday 31 October, the Commissioner will focus on the importance of scientific advice in fisheries management, joining Sir John Beddington, the UK Government Chief Scientist, Dr. Carl O’Brien and Dr. Steve Mackinson of Cefas, Prof. Ray Hilborn of Washington University and others speakers at the international conference “New Challenges and Opportunities facing Marine Fisheries Science”, starting at 9.00AM BST at the London's Fishmongers’ Hall.
Bluefin tuna: Commissioner Damanaki sends a letter to ICCAT Chairman to announce possible EU proposals to consolidate and improve scientific advice
Commissioner Damanaki sent a letter to Mr Hazin, Chairman of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) with a view to exploring all possibilities to consolidate and further improve scientific advice and announcing proposals that may be tabled by the European Union at the forthcoming ICCAT Annual Meeting in this respect.
Commissioner Damanaki believes that "Science is the cornerstone for responsible fisheries management decisions that ensure the sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources and the availability offish for future generations worldwide. Based on international law and all the relevant recommendations, we should make sure that management measures are based on the best available scientific advice."
The EU Council for Agriculture and Fisheries agrees on fishing opportunities for Baltic Sea based on scientific advice
The EU Council of Ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries agreed today fishing opportunities for the Baltic Sea for 2012. Following the Commission proposal, all quota decisions are based on scientific advice.
Commissioner Damanaki said: "Today's decision is an historical achievement. I want to thank the EU Polish Presidency for the excellent cooperation, which allowed the Council to take decisions that will be difficult in the short term, but stick to the red line of scientific advice. We also reached an agreement to overcome situations where data or scientific advice is still lacking." She concluded stating that "We have done the maximum for our fishermen, within the limits imposed by scientific advice".
Read more and comment on Commissioner Damanaki's blog: "The game has just begun"
By-catches and global overfishing are proving that the oceans are not an inexhaustible food source: more and more species disappear and several fish stocks are in danger.
The documentary "Game over - Facing our Ocean's Point of No Return" that will be broadcasted on Arté on Friday 21 October at 22.40 takes us in Canada, in South America, in the North Sea and in the Baltic, to show shortcomings of fisheries management and to look for solutions. Leading experts are convinced that sustainable fishing is possible. But the path leading to that achievement requires radical steps. And appropriate action must be initiated now.
Game over - Facing our Ocean's Point of No Return
When? Friday 21 October 2011, at 22:40
Where? Arté channel
Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy: exchange of views with representatives of national Parliaments
Today, Commissioner Damanaki heard the views of representatives of national parliaments of EU Member States, gathered in Brussels to discuss the Commission's proposals for the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. The Commissioner is going to maintain regular contacts with national parliaments, which gain notable weight in the EU decision-making process thanks to the Treaty of Lisbon.
After presenting the salient points of the reform proposals, the Commissioner listened to the Members of Parliament who addressed issues such as environmental, economic and social sustainability, the objective of reaching maximum sustainable yield (MSY) by 2015, regionalization, discards ban and transferable fishing concessions.
Commissioner Damanaki on the Pew Environment Group study "Mind the Gap: An Analysis of the Mediterranean Bluefin Trade"
The Pew Environment Group published yesterday the study "Mind the Gap: An Analysis of the Mediterranean Bluefin Trade".
Commissioner Damanaki stated: "We are concerned about the figures mentioned in the Pew study. Proper control and compliance are key to a successful policy.
At the upcoming annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) in Istanbul (9-19 November), the EU will table the idea of electronic data recording, to replace the existing paper catch reports. This is one of the weaknesses of the present control system identifyed by Pew."
Today, Commissioner Damanaki met representatives of small-scale fishermen, representing some of the 160 organisations that signed a declaration supporting the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy in ways which ensure the recovery of fish stocks and habitats, the promotion of best practice, a just allocation of fishing access based on social and environmental criteria, and an equitable distribution of the benefits derived from these activities.
At the margin of the meeting, Commissioner Damanaki recognized the importance of the significant segment of the European fleet that is small in scale and has a relatively low impact on the ecosystem: "Small-scale fishermen greatly contribute to the economic progress and the preservation of distinctive social and cultural characteristics of European coastal communities. The reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy will provide the framework to safeguard their role and reward those who –like them– value sustainability."
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and Greenpeace published today the results of enquiries on illegal fishing, reporting the involvement of Spanish ship-owners in such activities and possible misappropriations of EU funding.
Following the reports, Commissioner Damanaki stated that "The serious allegations are already under investigation by the European Commission and being followed up with the Spanish national authorities. We are establishing all facts in order to pursue breaches".
Maritime affairs and fisheries
Dear participants, αγαπητοί σύνεδροι,
Thank you for inviting me to open this year's edition of Aquaculture Europe.
Unfortunately, previous engagements did not allow me to be present at such an important conference.
I would like however to take the opportunity to convey the European Commission's message of support to the European aquaculture sector.
Commissioner Maria Damanaki just finished a two-day visit to Norway, to meet Norwegian ministers and stakeholders.
Commissioner Damanaki started her visit in Oslo, addressing, together with the Norwegian Foreign Affairs Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, Seminar High North, organized by the Norwegian Shipowners' Association and DNV: "Maritime activities have a huge economic potential. Through them, we can seek better opportunities, and we can achieve prosperity and growth – Commissioner Damanaki said - Moreover, maritime policy also offers a great potential of cooperation with others. By pursuing a policy of 'open horizons' in the seas and oceans you can interact with, and you can have a better understanding of, other nations, peoples, and cultures. As well as their needs and interests. This is essential in the globalised world we live in. Norway is a very important partner of the European Union. We have excellent relations in the political field. And we have also very promising relations in the maritime policy area." (Read the full speech).
The Commissioner also met Minister of Environment and International Development Erik Solheim and Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre. With Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs Lisbeth Berg-Hansen the Commissioner travelled to Bergen for a series of meetings on maritime affairs and fisheries issues. She first met the representatives of the Norwegian Coast Guard, and then visited the Directorate of Fisheries.
Afterwards, Ms Damanaki addressed the issues related to scientific advice at the Institute for Marine Research.
Commissioner Damanaki also visited the fishery community of Austevoll to learn about best practices in sustainable aquaculture, fisheries management and coastal planning.
Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, met today Ms Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Transport in Paris. They discussed the Commission's maritime policy initiatives, in particular Maritime Spatial Planning and Integrated Maritime Surveillance, as well as the upcoming Strategy for the Atlantic.
Read the common press release Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet et Maria Damanaki appellent à un approfondissement de la politique maritime européenne
The Commissioner also met with industry representatives from the French Maritime Cluster, which gathers about 250 companies and maritime industries of different sizes, to discuss the potential of sea-related sectors to contribute to growth and job creation.
The visit concluded with a meeting with French Parliamentarians and French delegates to the European Parliament, focussed on the latest developments in the area of maritime policy and on benefits for France of a reformed, modern Common Fisheries Policy.
Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet et Maria Damanaki appellent à un approfondissement de la politique maritime européenne
Maria Damanaki, commissaire européenne chargée des affaires maritimes et de la pêche, et Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, ministre de l’écologie, du développement durable, des transports et du logement, se sont rencontrées aujourd’hui à Paris pour échanger sur l’avenir de la politique maritime européenne.