The Commission is consulting the Regional Advisory Councils on their future role and a possible governance framework. The consultation started in September 2012 is expected to be concluded in the spring of 2013. For the first time, representatives of the aquaculture sector are included in these discussions as the Commission has proposed the creation of an Advisory Council on Aquaculture.
The reform of the Common Fisheries Policy will make it possible to move towards devolved decision making, at a local sea basin level, which will directly involve local fishermen and stakeholders. The Advisory Councils will continue to provide advice to the Commission and to the Member States. They will also be involved in the shaping of fisheries management measures designed to achieve the objectives defined by Parliament and Council. This provides an opportunity for fishermen and stakeholders to work together to shape measures that are adapted to the specificities of each sea basin.
The Advisory Councils are ready to take up the challenges of working in a regionalised context. They want to continue building on the work they have started and to engage with the Commission and Member States to understand how best to contribute to the new regionalised decision-making framework. Shared planning and a clear framework for cooperation will be necessary. Finally, representatives of the aquaculture sector are keen to start working on the establishment of the future Advisory Committee on Aquaculture which will promote the development of aquaculture in the EU.