Maintaining a supply of fish to the processing industry is vital for the wider economy and requires an integrated policy across the supply chain. This was the main message from members of the AIPCE-CEP (EU Fish Processors and Traders Association).
Mr Pastoor and Mr Mozos are calling for mandatory long term management plans and the removal of trade barriers for fish from third world countries.
“Members of AIPCE-CEP are major players in the EU market for fisheries products. The processing industry represents 130,000 employees, 4,000 enterprises and a production value of around €20 billion,” they stated.
“It is mostly located in coastal areas and contributes to maintaining economic activity in these areas. The activity of fish traders and associated businesses who supply services to the processing industry also make a significant contribution to employment and wealth creation. Therefore ensuring adequate supplies to these industries is vital for the social and economic sustainability of the wider economy.”
“For some time, AIPCE-CEP members have been actively working to ensure that the fish we supply is from sustainable sources. For example, we were heavily involved in the establishment of the EU’s regulations to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing. As part of this sustainability agenda, we have consistently argued that the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) must be radically reformed.”
The AIPCE-CEP has therefore announced that it has joined forces with WWF, EUROCOMMERCE and EUROCOOP to call for the 2012 CFP reform to deliver a workable EU sustainable fisheries management policy.
The reforms they say are needed are needed are as follows:
- Mandatory Long Term Management Plans (LTMPs)- For all EU fisheries by 2015. These plans must meet clear minimum standards set out in the new Regulation and should aim to achieve centrally agreed targets and assess environmental impact in order that sound fisheries management decisions can be made.
- Effective Regionalisation- All stakeholders must be at the heart of the decision making process.
- Maximising Value from Catch to Consumer- The CFP needs to take much greater account of consumer concerns by delivering sustainably sourced supplies, at prices and qualities which customers want, with the volumes and stability which the market needs.
- CFP Principles- To apply to all fisheries in EU waters and beyond. This includes the Mediterranean and when EU vessels fish throughout the world’s oceans.
To conclude, Mr Pastoor and Mr Mozos said, “Fisheries are a valuable and renewable (low carbon) source of protein, increasingly important in terms of EU and world food security. The objective of the CFP should be to maximise this potential and rebuild stocks to meet future demand, not simply to manage the status quo.”
“This will require an integrated approach bringing together fisheries management, policy on the marine ecosystems and supply chain issues. Efficiency and rational economic operation must also be key policy drivers, in order to maximise the value of this unique natural resource.”