Commissioner Maria Damanaki at European Seafood Exposition: Europeans want better access to more sustainable fish
Today, Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime affairs and fisheries, will visit the European Seafood Exposition at the Brussels Exhibition Centre, Heysel. During her visit, the Commissioner will participate in a roundtable discussion with WWF/Industry Alliance for CFP reform.
This alliance of industrialists and conservationists was formed one year ago at the Seafood Expo to lobby for a real reform of the European Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Discussions will centre around what industry and policy players can do to end overfishing and discards, guarantee a more efficient and profitable fishing sector and help maximise the value of fish from catch to consumer. In a recent survey they conducted, 88% of Europeans say fish products within the EU should come from stocks that are not overfished.
"I am well aware that European citizens want better access to more sustainable fish through a reformed Fisheries Policy", said Commissioner Damanaki. "The European Commission is currently working on a proposal for a changed policy which will hopefully meet these demands." For the new policy, the Commissioner wants to make sustainable fishing the prime, underpinning objective. The policy must be based on long-term planning as the best way to reach and maintain healthy fish stocks at a level which would allow fishermen to fish as much as possible while still having healthy stocks. The wasteful practice of discards must be done away with. Decision-making needs to be simplified and decentralised without top-down micro-management from Brussels. Member states and the fishing industry need to be empowered and better involved. To achieve these goals, behaviours and mindsets will need to change.