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Securing the future of shrimp- and shellfishing

Question écrite de M. David MCALLISTER - Commission européenne

Question de M. David MCALLISTER, M. Jens GIESEKE, M. Niclas HERBST,

Diffusée le 27 février 2024

Subject: Securing the future of shrimp- and shellfishing

Shrimp- and shellfishing (or ‘coastal fishing’) has a long history on Germany’s North Sea coast. Shrimps, for example, have been fished in the German Wadden Sea since the 1700s. Coastal fishing as we know it has been going on since roughly the middle of the 19th century, making it one of the oldest fishing sectors in the North Sea, with major cultural and economic significance, particularly on account of its close connection with tourism.

Sustainable fishing and the protection of the marine environment are crucial to the long-term health of our oceans. In view of growing challenges such as climate change, eutrophication, predators (cormorants) and pollution, it is imperative that we take effective measures to preserve our maritime biodiversity and safeguard the livelihoods of fishing and coastal communities. Against this background, the EU has put forward an action plan for sustainable fisheries and the protection of the marine environment.

1. How does the Commission intend to keep traditional industries going and involve stakeholders on the ground more closely in European decision-making and evaluation processes?

2. Will it do more to promote innovative technologies to help sustainably manage and reduce by- catch, and will it support new ships?

3. Does it intend to introduce binding social and environmental criteria for coastal fishing?


Réponse - Commission européenne

Diffusée le 5 mai 2024

Answer given by Mr Sinkevičius on behalf of the European Commission (6 May 2024)

1. Stakeholders participate in the relevant Advisory Councils via the regionalisation process foreseen in the Common Fisheries Policy. The opinions and recommendations of the Advisory Councils reflect regional and local specificities, developments in innovation and technologies, and considerations on the local environmental, economic and social impacts. Stakeholders can also participate as observers to the joint special group supporting the implementation of the marine action plan (1).

2. The Fisheries and Oceans Package (2) seeks to accelerate the transition to more sustainable fishing practices by supporting more innovative solutions to less damaging techniques, to fish more selectively, to better protect marine habitats and to mitigate the impact of incidental catches of sensitive species. The development of such solutions may be supported by the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund. The construction of new fishing vessels, however, is not eligible for financial support under this regulation.

3. The marine action plan does not introduce binding social and environmental criteria but invites Member States and stakeholders to engage in a dialogue to identify solutions to protect sensitive species, allow marine ecosystems to recover and fisheries and coastal communities to flourish. Also, the Commission is working together with the scientific bodies and Member States to assess and ensure the transparency of the criteria allocating fishing opportunities at national level (3). The Commission is currently consulting Member States and stakeholders, in order to prepare a vademecum to improve transparency and promote sustainable fishing across the EU, and the support of small-scale and coastal fishers.

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Article 17 of Regulation 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the Common Fisheries Policy, amending Council Regulations (EC) No 1954/2003 and (EC) No 1224/2009 and repealing Council Regulations (EC) No 2371/2002 and (EC) No 639/2004 and Council Decision 2004/585/EC.

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