Sunday, 12 February 2012

The words nobody mentions

Those words are "common", "fisheries" and "policy". Somehow, reports are produced about overfishing, sustainability, fishermen and their lives, the marine economy and yet, nobody mentions those three vital words. Why is that?

The BBC reports that a new report by the New Economics Foundation, which tends to be a little woolly on politics and real economics, has published a report called Lost at sea: £2.7 billion and 100,000 jobs.  It attacks overfishing, which they say is bad for the economy and criticize European fisheries ministers. Yet, they find it impossible to mention that what is behind the overfishing as well as the discards is an insane policy that has, as its basis, the notion of a common European fishing resource to which all member states can have equal access and which is regulated centrally on the basis of political decisions.

Another report produced by the International Sustainability Unit is entitled Towards Global Sustainable Fisheries and will need a closer examination, which we promise to provide. But it is not a good sign that the Executive Summary sees no need to mention those dreaded words or a few others like "third", "country" and "agreements". How can one have a serious discussion on the subject if one avoids the thorny political issues?

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Spanish fishermen miss Moroccan waters

Spanish worry about fishermen not being able to fish in Moroccan waters after the renewal of agreement was scuppered is escalating. (Blogged here.)

The Congress of Deputies overwhelmingly passed the non-binding proposition from the Popular Parliamentary Group (GPP) requiring the urgent renovation of the fishing agreement between the European Union (EU) and Morocco.
The proposal was approved by 298 votes in favour, 28 against and 3 abstentions, EFE agency informed.
Joaquin Garcia Diez, GPP deputy, defended the initiative to prevent Spanish vessels from extended inactivity and the increase of unemployment level in populations which are highly dependent on fishing, such as the fishermen of Barbate.
In this city, 50 per cent of economic activity depends on the product of fishing in Moroccan waters, the legislator said.
For Garcia Diez, the new protocol must be supported by scientific reports and take into account the requirements of European Parliament (EP), and the opinion of the industry and the autonomous communities.
Members of the Popular Party (PP) and the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) also reached consensus on the amendments tabled by the Socialists, seeking immediate implementation of the aid fund provided for the duration of the fisheries suspension.

Jobs in the Canary Islands are also being threatened.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

More about ROSA

Having mentioned Reclaim Our Seas Alliance or ROSA again, we feel it may be necessary to give some information about this organization.

ROSA is an alliance of fishing groups from England, France, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland united in a campaign to halt the economic and social decline suffered by fishing communities caused by the CFP.

ROSA represents a new strategic direction for fishing policy that gives Member States with an interest in a particular fisheries area the primacy of deciding the right policy for that area.

ROSA’s objectives are:

1. To halt the centralising process that has characterised EU fisheries policy through the real CFP of equal access to the resource with exclusive competence for all marine resources being with “Brussels” and

2. To initiate the process immediately of repatriating control of policy, management and stocks back to individual EU maritime Member States That is the outcome that we are looking for from the review of the EU‘s Common Fisheries Policy.

So far, that outcome appears to be unlikely and the fight must go on but it is good to know that we are not fighting alone.