National priorities for HELCOM contracting parties – joint NGO letter

September 12, 2013

At the HELCOM Ministerial Meeting 3 October 2013 in Copenhagen, the region’s Environment Ministers will agree on further actions in order to reach the objectives of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP). Many of the actions set out in the BSAP in 2007 have still not been implemented – overall implementation has been slow and patchy. The following document presents a set of proposals for national actions to be taken in order to fulfil the objectives agreed upon by HELCOM countries in 2007.

Joint NGO letter to Ministers at HELCOM

August 27, 2013

Joint NGO letter to ministers at HELCOM ahead of the HELCOM Ministerial Declaration meeting 2013 highlighting that we have already agreed on many of the necessary targets and what we need now is action to secure the environmental objectives already agreed upon in 2007 HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) and 2010 Moscow Ministerial declaration.

Council briefing on the CFP reform

May 14, 2013

This briefing was prepared for Ministers ahead of the Council meeting at which discussions took place to provide the Irish Presidency with a revised negotiation mandate for the final trilogue negotiations on the basic Regulation of the CFP reform. The briefing covers key issues of the reform: The objective of the CFP and the MSY principle, fishing capacity and conditionality, access to fisheries and the use of quota allocation to promote sustainable fishing methods, the discard ban, and the future Advisory Councils (ACs).

Council brief on the general approach to the basic regulation

May 14, 2013

The February Council saw Ministers conclude their General Approach on the basic Regulation of the CFP reform. This briefing covers core issues of the reform: rebuilding fish stocks through the MSY principle, the discard ban, access to EU funding, and the Common Organisation of the Market (CMO) file.

Briefing on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund

April 30, 2013

This briefing on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) (COM(2011)804) is aimed at MEPs who are members of the Fisheries Committee in the European Parliament. They vote on amendments to the Cadec (EPP, FR) report in July and the annex provides analysis and voting recommendations on these proposals.

It is our view that the EMFF is a limited fund of public money that should be used to support the implementation of a CFP that:

  • ends overfishing by restoring to and maintaining fish stocks at healthy levels;
  • provides incentives for environmentally sustainable fishing practices; and
  • reduces damage to marine ecosystems.

Baltic Discard ban – joint NGO considerations

April 26, 2013

Joint response from Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB), Oceana, The Fisheries Secretariat (FISH), Finnish Association for Nature Conservation and the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) on the BALTFISH High-Level Group paper State of play with regards to the implementation of a ban on discards in the Baltic Sea for consideration at the joint BALTFISH and 9th HELCOM Baltic Fisheries/Environmental Forum in Tallinn, Estonia, on 29–30 April 2013.

Council brief on North Sea and Atlantic TACs for 2013

December 11, 2012

The December Council will be the last under the Cypriot Presidency, at which the 2013 quotas for most EU stocks will be set, specifically those in the North Sea and Atlantic. This briefing provides recommendations on fishing opportunities for a selection of these stocks for 2013 (COM(2012)608). TACs for the Baltic and certain deep sea stocks have already been decided.

Council brief on deep sea TACs for 2013

November 13, 2012

This briefing provides recommendations on fishing opportunities for certain deep sea stocks for 2013 and 2014 (COM(2012)579). However, a fundamental overhaul of deep sea management is necessary, as outlined by the Commission in the proposal for a revised access regime (COM(2012)371). It is hoped that quotas for 2013 and 2014 mark the end of the current inadequate TAC management system.

Deep sea species tend to be slow growing, late maturing and have low reproductive capacity. Therefore, they are particularly vulnerable to overfishing, which makes the serious lack of scientific information on the deep sea stocks in the North-east Atlantic all the more problematic. Hitherto, management of deep sea fisheries by the EU has been inadequate as it is based on single species TACs and quotas for some stocks, however, in the mixed fisheries carried out by bottom trawls bycatch rates are high, causing broad adverse impacts on whole communities of deep sea species.

OCEAN2012: Shifting EMFF funding priorities

October 29, 2012

We ask Member States and the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to at least double the amount of resources allocated to data collection and control and enforcement compared to the 2007 – 2013 financing period. Moreover, we urge Member States and MEPs to change the EMFF proposal to provide Member States with the flexibility to spend more but not less funding on data collection and control and enforcement measures.

OCEAN2012: Reaction to Commission EMFF proposals

October 29, 2012

Faced with concerted pressure from various stakeholders, the Commission has struggled to craft a proposal which responds adequately to the issues outlined in its 2009 Green Paper and to live up to its commitments to reduce overcapacity and provide effective support to promote a healthy and sustainable fisheries sector. We now look to the European Parliament to work with the Council to ensure that public aid will no longer be part of the problem, but will be part of the solution to address the current fisheries crisis.