The fisheries sector has as its main activities the production, processing and marketing of fish. Beyond its main goal of providing the market with high-quality protein, the fisheries sector nowadays plays a wider role bringing additional social, economic and cultural benefits.
Besides the catching sector and related activities, the fisheries industry has diversified into a number of different branches, such as ‘pescaturismo’ (recreational fishing) – which promotes the coastal tourism sector, thereby broadening the fisheries industry’s spectrum of influence on the socio-cultural identity of coastal communities – and aquaculture, in terms of either repopulating seas and rivers or producing good-quality food products able to supply the European market.
Over the past few decades the fisheries sector has therefore shown itself to be multifunctional, and is now linked to a wide range of activities able to create direct and indirect employment, promote the socio-economic development of coastal areas and enhance the cultural heritage in these regions. Its influence on gastronomy, folklore, museology and literature is clear.
Taking the above-mentioned realities into consideration, the fisheries sector endorses the Europe 2020 Strategy (‘A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’, COM(2010)2020), which calls for sustainable growth (promoting a more resource-efficient, greener and more competitive economy) and inclusive growth (fostering a high-employment economy delivering social and territorial cohesion); the fisheries sector also endorses the Rio+20 green economy objectives (COM(2011)0363).
1. Is the Commission aware of the multifunctional nature of the fisheries sector and its contribution in terms of ‘public goods’, along with its contribution to the Europe 2020 Strategy and the Rio+20 objectives?
2. How will the Commission incorporate the added value provided by the fisheries sector into the CFP reform?