Commissioner Maria Damanaki
Commissioner Damanaki took part, with other fellow Commissioners, in the meeting between President Barroso and the Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos.
Commissioner Damanaki met with the new Ambassador Permanent Delegate of Turkey to the EU, H.E. Mr Selim Yenel.
Following the meeting, Commissioner Damanaki said "Turkey and the European Union need each other and we should advance on a positive re-engagement. This is of particular importance for the cooperation in the Mediterranean, as well as in the Black Sea"
WWF is presenting its "More Fish" petition to the European Parliament today. The petition asks for putting an end to overfishing in European waters and overseas alike and for reforming fisheries management.
Commissioner Damanaki welcomed the petition, commenting: "it is important that citizens are made aware of the challenges we face: only if people care about the health of our seas and oceans, the reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy has a chance to go through".
The petition remains open for signatures and will be handed to the European Parliament before the debate on the Commission's proposals for a reformed Common Fisheries Policy, this autumn.
The European Union and Mauritius initialed today a new Fishery Partnership Agreement (FPA) and Protocol.
Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: 'It is a very positive development that we initialled today a new FPA and a protocol with Mauritius. After a five-year gap in our bilateral relationship in the fisheries domain, we now have a solid legal framework ensuring sustainability and a science-based approach'.
The new FPA repeals the previous 1989 Fishery Agreement, and focuses in particular on partnership and sustainability. The FPA establishes the principles and rules governing the economic, financial and scientific cooperation between the EU and the Republic of Mauritius in the fisheries sector. Its aim is to guarantee the conservation and sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources and develop Mauritius's fisheries sector.
The European Commission today used emergency powers to reduce and avoid excessive discarding of haddock in the West of Scotland.
Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: "We will act swiftly to avoid unnecessary discards. Today's decision proves it. The situation in the fishery has changed, and the very rules that were adopted three years ago to protect the stock now threaten its sustainability. Thanks to the emergency powers, we can urgently amend the rules when the new developments require it."
The emergency measure adopted under Article 7 of Council Regulation (EC) No 2371/2002 will permit the fishermen to land the catches rather than discard fish. It will come into force with an immediate effect for 6 months initially.
Bilateral meeting with Mr Sofoclis ALETRARIS, Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment
Bilateral meeting with Mr Efthemios FLOURENTZOU, Minister of Communications and Works.
Commissioner Damanaki met with Mr Paulino RIVERO, President of the Government of Canary Islands. The meeting focussed on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and Fisheries Partnership Agreements.
A disappointing outcome, of grave concern to the sustainability of the mackerel stock. The unilateral actions of Iceland and the Faroe Islands are putting the viability of the stock at risk
Joint Statement of Commissioner Damanaki and Norwegian Minister Berg-Hansen on mackerel
Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, on behalf of the European Union, and Lisbehth Berg-Hansen, Minister of Fisheries, on behalf of Norway, have expressed their disappointment and grave concern following the inconclusive outcome of the meeting on mackerel fishery in the North-East Atlantic, held in Reykjavik from 14 to 16 February 2012 between the EU, Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands (the so-called coastal states).
Commissioner Damanaki attended the European Parliament plenary meeting in Strasbourg. The Commissioner answered questions by several Members of the Parliament, on the long term plan for horse mackerel, on the applicability of the procedure for fixing fishing opportunities and on the contribution of the Common Fisheries Policy to the production of public goods.
On this last subject, Commissioner Damanaki highlighted the need for a reform: "Healthy stocks support larger catches of bigger fish. This improves profitability, wages and employment of fishermen, but also of people working in processing". She continued, calling on the European Parliament to support the reform process: "You rightfully demand attractive jobs for the fishing industry and a fair standard of living for fishermen and their families. I am determined to deliver on your demand and I am convinced that together we can get it right. With your help this reform can deliver all that and ensure the long-term viability of our coastal communities across Europe."
The European Union and Guinea Bissau agreed today on a new Protocol to implement the EU/Guinea Bissau Fisheries Partnership Agreement. Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner in charge of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries said: "both parties are satisfied with the results of the negotiations. This new Protocol underscores the continuous strong co-operation on fisheries between the EU and Guinea Bissau".
The Protocol reinforces the role of the joint scientific committee to improve scientific advice and further develop the management measures. Control too will be improved thanks to the use of vessel monitoring system (VMS) and electronic logbooks. It also includes a clause on the respect of human rights. The EU and Guinea Bissau have decided to reinforce cooperation between economic operators in the fisheries sector.
Commissioner Damanaki attended the conference Shaping the future of the Common Fisheries Policy, organised by the European Parliament Intergroup “Climate change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development”. For the first time as co-legislator, the European Parliament will play a key role regarding the final outcome of a reformed Common Fisheries Policy and, at the event, the Members of the European Parliament responsible for scrutinising the Commission proposals outlined their views.
Presenting the proposals, Commissioner Damanaki stated: "Sustainability -in all its dimensions: environmental, economic and social- is the key objective of the proposals we put forward to reform the Common Fisheries Policy". She also underlined the urgency of the debate: "The protection of our seas and coasts is an urgent matter. We have to act now. We have to avoid depleting stocks to a point of no return any way we can. The debate in the Council is going very far and I count on the European Parliament to come forward with its ideas."
On Tuesday 6 February, the EU and Greenland have agreed on a new 3-year Protocol to implement the EU/Greenland Fisheries Partnership Agreement, which will enter into force on 1 January 2013.
Both Parties expressed satisfaction with the results of the negotiations, which have taken almost one year to conclude. Commissioner Maria Damanaki underlined that "This is a very good agreement, soundly founded on the precautionary approach and best available scientific advice."
Commissioner Damanaki met representatives of Europêche, the Association of National Organisations of Fishery Enterprises in the European Union, to listen their views on the main issues of the proposals for the reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy.
Commissioner Damanaki highlighted that "we need a regionalised implementation process, where stakeholders get a possibility for input and the policy-makers can finally use their expertise." She referred to the example of discards: "We need a clear commitment to end discarding with a fixed timeline; once we have this, the fishing industry - together with other stakeholders and the Member States - can find the best solutions fishery by fishery, in a regionalised approach."
Commissioner Damanaki then underlined that "If we manage to bring back European fisheries on to the sustainability track soon, and if we ensure a better balance between capacity and resources, this will benefit the industry - and economic success is a pre-condition for securing the future of jobs." And she added: "I am very well aware that these policies need a stimulus and that is why in the proposed European Maritime and Fisheries Fund we want to promote this transition".
The Commission is generally satisfied with the outcome of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO) preparatory conference, which concluded on 3 February in Santiago, Chile.
The renewal of the Interim Measures for the jack mackerel stock for 2012 was the main issue on the agenda. Oliver Drewes, spokesperson of Commissioner Maria Damanaki, commented: "It is important to have agreed to follow the precautionary approach in line with scientific advice for the South Pacific jack mackerel stock. However, the Commission is concerned of the lack of cooperation of certain partners, which risks to undermine the general effort deployed from all other Participants in the fishery for the conservation and management of stock."
Commissioner Maria Damanaki met today representatives of the European Transport Federation. The meeting focussed mainly on the socio-economic aspects of the Common Fisheries Policy reform, in particular on employment in the harvesting sector, on the contribution that the future European Maritime and Fisheries Fund can provide to help the transition towards viable fishing activities and on other possible ways to improve working conditions for fishermen, self-employed and employees alike.
Commissioner Damanaki pointed out that the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund will pay particular attention to small scale fishermen and on the communities depending on fisheries. It will, in particular, focus on integrated local development and hence at promoting employment opportunities, within and beyond the fisheries sector.
Tomorrow, HRH the Prince of Wales will deliver the keynote speech at the launch of his International Sustainability Unit Marine Programme.
Commissioner Damanaki has been invited to respond and will be addressing the need for reforming the EU Common Fisheries Policy, to meet the challenges identified by the Programme.
Also Adriana Giudice Alva (Chief Executive Officer, Austral group), David Nusbaum (Chief Executive, WWF UK), Elizabeth Thompson (Executive Coordinator of UNCSD Rio+20) and the UK Parliamentary Under Secretary for Natural Environment and Fisheries, Richard Benyon MP will be intervening at the event
Friday, 3 February 2012
Where? Fishmongers' Hall, London
Maritime affairs and fisheries
Tomorrow, Commissioner Damanaki will take part in the workshop "Knowledge for a better understanding and use of resources: the case of mapping the seafloor", hosted by the European Parliament Member Maria do Céu Patrão Neves.
Ahead of the event, Commissioner Damanaki said: "Data and information gathered through seabed mapping can help define marine protected areas and help business to take informed decisions on investments in marine and maritime activities. But these are just examples, showing how the mapping the seafloor is of great importance both for the EU Common Fisheries Policy and our maritime policy". And she concluded: "I very much welcome this initiative and I am happy to join my voice to those who can see the opportunities linked to seabed mapping".