The CPMR and its regions have shared their experiences on the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE). 

The CFP is a set of rules for managing European fishing fleets and for conserving fish stocks, and the EMFF is its main funding instrument.

At a brainstorming meeting organised by the CPMR and DG MARE in Brussels last week, regions provided insights into how the CFP and EMFF have impacted on their local fisheries sectors, outlining the challenges involved and offering suggestions on how they could potentially be improved.

The meeting was attending by a number of senior representatives from DG MARE, including its Director General, João Aguiar Machado, who stressed that the Commission is interested in hearing about what is happening at regional level because that is where the CFP policy is being implemented.

Mr Machado explained that the “sharing of best practices between the Commission, the Member States and the Regions are so important for the future” and would provide further insight into what type of financial support will be needed for the CFP beyond 2020.

Thanking DG MARE for agreeing to the collaboration meeting, CPMR Secretary General, Eleni Marianou, said that the discussion was the first step in a joint approach that involves constructive dialogue and a technical partnership between the Commission and the Regions.

During the meeting, representatives from the CPMR regions of Catalonia, Brittany and Marche presented their experiences on the challenges and initial result of the EMFF’s implementation.

Sergi Tudela I Casanovas, Director General, Ministry for Fisheries, Agriculture, Livestock and Food, Government of Catalonia, spoke of the role played by the EMFF in developing a more sustainable fisheries sector. He welcomed EMFF support for commercialisation, but called for it to be adapted to the specific challenges of Mediterranean fisheries.

Manuela Bora, Assessora, Marche Regional Council, focused on EMFF support for seafood marketing and processing, highlighting a project developed in Marche to promote local fisheries products in school canteens, called

Pierre Karleskind, Vice-President, Brittany Regional Council, spoke about the promotion of innovation and competitiveness in fishing ports. He highlighted his region’s plans to develop the Regional Integrated Governance of fisheries and ports.

In another session, representatives from the Shetland Islands and Galicia presented the actions they have developed to implement the CFP, and particularly the landing obligation, which requires all catches of regulated commercial species on-board to be landed and counted against quota.

Jonathan Wills, Regional Councillor, Shetland Islands Council, spoke about the economic impact of the landing obligations on the Shetland fishing sector, stressing that the implementation of the discard ban for choke species will have a huge impact on mixed fisheries.

And Mercedes Rodriguez General Director for Fisheries Aquaculture and Technological Innovation, Galicia, provided an update on the TAC and quota system in light of the landing obligation.

The meeting was concluded by George Alexakis, CPMR Vice-President in charge of Maritime Affairs, and Regional Councillor for the Crete Region, and Fabrizio Donatella, Acting Director, Fisheries Policy, Mediterranean, Black Sea, DG MARE.

They agreed on the importance of continuing to ensure sound coooperation between the European Commission and the CPMR in order to gather more detailed information on the impact of the implementation of the CFP and of the EMFF in maritime regions.

View the presentations from the meeting.