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A7-0291/2012

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P7_TA(2012)0460

REPORT     
PDF 252kWORD 175k
27 September 2012
PE 486.129v02-00 A7-0291/2012

on small-scale coastal fishing, artisanal fishing and the reform of the common fisheries policy

(2011/2292(INI))

Committee on Fisheries

Rapporteur: João Ferreira

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on small-scale coastal fishing, artisanal fishing and the reform of the common fisheries policy

(2011/2292(INI))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the reform of the common fisheries policy (CFP),

–   having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), and in particular Articles 43(2) and 349 thereof,

–   having regard to Article 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union on measures taking account of the special characteristics and constraints of the outermost regions,

–   having regard to the Commission Green Paper entitled ‘Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy’ (COM(2009)0163),

–   whereas the future EMFF should guarantee the right of local populations to fish, for family consumption, in accordance with specific customs and to maintain their traditional economic activities,

–    having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 2371/2002 of 20 December 2002 on the conservation and sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources under the common fisheries policy,(1)

–   having regard to the regulation applicable to the European Fisheries Fund (EFF), namely Council Regulation (EC) No 1198/2006 laying down the detailed rules and arrangements regarding Community structural assistance in the fisheries sector,(2)

–    having regard to its resolution of 15 December 2005 on ‘women’s networks: fishing, farming and diversification’,(3)

–    having regard to its resolution of 15 June 2006 on inshore fishing and the problems encountered by inshore fishermen,(4)

- having regard to its resolution of 2 September 2008 on fisheries and aquaculture in the context of Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Europe,(5)

–   having regard to its resolution of 16 February 2012 on the contribution of the common fisheries policy to the production of public goods(6),

–    having regard to its resolution of 25 February 2010 on the Green Paper on reform of the Common Fisheries Policy,(7)

–    having regard to the new proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Common Fisheries Policy (COM(2011)0425),

–    having regard to the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1198/2006 and Council Regulation (EC) No 861/2006 and Council Regulation No XXX/2011 on integrated maritime policy (COM(2011)0804),

–    having regard to the new proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the common organisation of the markets in fishery and aquaculture products (COM(2011)0416),

–    having regard to the communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions entitled ‘Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy’ (COM(2011)0417),

–    having regard to the communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the external dimension of the Common Fisheries Policy (COM(2011)0424),

–    having regard to the report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on reporting obligations under Council Regulation (EC) No 2371/2002 of 20 December 2002 on the conservation and sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources under the Common Fisheries Policy (COM(2011)0418),

–    having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Fisheries and the opinions of the Committee on Regional Development and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A7-0291/2012),

A. whereas small-scale fishing – comprising artisanal fishing and some types of coastal/inshore fishing, shellfishing and other traditional extensive aquaculture activities such as the natural breeding of molluscs in inshore waters – has a very diverse territorial, social and cultural impact in mainland and island areas and in the outermost regions, and has specific problems that set it apart from large-scale fishing and from intensive or industrial aquaculture;

B.  whereas, for the purposes of the new Fisheries Policy Regulation, it is necessary to define what should be understood as artisanal fishing, and to take account of the repercussions that this type of fishing will have for funding under the new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund;

C. whereas the artisanal or coastal fleet is vital for maintaining and creating employment in coastal regions and helps ensure the EU’s self-sufficiency in terms of food, as well as the development of coastal areas and the supply of fishery products to the European market;

D. whereas some 80 % of fishing in the Community is carried out by vessels under 15 metres, making this fleet segment the leading player in the CFP; whereas the CFP must provide an adequate, sufficient and necessary response to the problems which, despite the successive measures made available to the Member States, continue to be faced by a large part of the small-scale fishing sector;

E.  whereas the coastal and artisanal fishing sector has ageing vessels that should be made safer and modernised, or even replaced with new vessels that are more energy efficient and are compliant with safety standards;

F.  whereas there is a scarcity of statistical data and indicators at European level in terms of social, economic and territorial cohesion, and it is necessary to promote indicators that provide socio-economic, scientific and environmental data which reflect the geographical, environmental and socio-economic diversity of this type of fishing;

G. whereas the absence of reliable scientific data remains a serious problem in terms of seeking to achieve sustainable management of most fish stocks;

H. whereas in defining a fisheries policy, in addition to essential environmental objectives relating to the conservation of fisheries resources, social and economic objectives must also be considered, as they have been neglected, particularly in the case of small-scale fishing;

I.   whereas the current centralised management of the CFP frequently produces guidelines that are divorced from reality, poorly understood by the sector (which is not involved in discussing or developing them), and difficult to implement, producing results that are often the opposite of those intended;

J.   whereas management models based on transferable fishing rights cannot be considered as the only measure for tackling overfishing and overcapacity;

K. whereas a compulsory reduction in the fleet achieved exclusively through market instruments, such as transferable fishing concessions (TFC), could lead to the prevalence of operators that are more competitive from a purely economic point of view, to the detriment of the operators and sectors of the fleet that have a lower environmental impact and create more (direct and indirect) employment;

L.   whereas the economic and social crisis is particularly affecting the fisheries sector, and in this context small-scale fishing may be more vulnerable owing to its low capitalisation; whereas it is important to ensure the economic and social stability of small-scale fishing communities;

M. whereas its structural weaknesses mean that small-scale coastal or artisanal fishing is exposed to certain types of economic shock (such as rapidly rising fuel prices or lack of access to credit) and to rapid changes in the availability of resources;

N. whereas the specific characteristics of small-scale fishing constitute an aspect that must be taken into account in the future CFP, but at the same time must not be the sole focus of the social dimension of the reform, given the severe crisis currently affecting the entire sector;

O. whereas first-sale fish prices are not keeping pace with the current significant rise in production costs, particularly for fuel, and in many cases are either stagnant or falling, thus adding to the crisis facing the sector;

P.  whereas the market does not fully remunerate the positive social and environmental externalities associated with small-scale fishing; whereas society as a whole does not recognise or remunerate the activities associated with fishing which constitute the sector’s multifunctional aspect and produce public goods by, inter alia, stimulating the coastline, gastronomy, museology and recreational angling, to the benefit of society as a whole;

Q. whereas the future European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) should fully take into account the specific problems and needs of artisanal and small-scale fishing, both in coastal and inland areas, as well as the consequences for both men and women of the implementation of the measures included in the future reform;

R.  whereas the specific diseases that affect women working in the artisanal fishing sector are not recognised as occupational diseases;

S.  whereas creating exclusion zones contributes to the development of responsible practices, to the sustainability of both coastal marine ecosystems and traditional fishing activities, and to the survival of fishing communities;

T.  whereas small-scale coastal fishing and artisanal fishing have very different characteristics which vary from country to country and coast to coast;

U. whereas the importance of small-scale fisheries for the protection of minority languages in isolated, coastal areas cannot be ignored;

V. whereas the level of association and organisation of small-scale fishing professionals is insufficient and unequal in the various Member States;

W. whereas Article 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union refers to the need to promote policies specific to the outermost regions, particularly in the fisheries sector;

1.  Considers that small-scale fishing comprises artisanal fishing and some types of coastal/inshore fishing, shellfishing and other traditional extensive aquaculture activities such as the natural breeding of molluscs in inshore waters;

2.  Stresses that small-scale fishing, by reason of its characteristics and its weight within the sector, has a pivotal role to play in achieving what should be the fundamental objectives of any fisheries policy: ensuring fish supplies to the public and the development of coastal communities, and promoting employment and improved living standards for fishing professionals, within a context of ensuring that resources are sustainable and are properly conserved;

3.  Considers that the specific characteristics of the small-scale fishing segment should not under any circumstances be used as an excuse to exclude this segment from the general framework of the CFP, although that policy should be sufficiently flexible to enable management systems to be adapted to the specific characteristics and problems of artisanal fishing;

4.  Points out that the specific characteristics of small-scale fishing vary greatly from one Member State to another, and that opting for the lowest common denominator has rarely proved a constructive approach to European decision-making;

5.  Believes that the starting-point should be a generic definition of artisanal fishing that prevents the widely varying circumstances to be found in the fisheries sector, depending on fishing grounds, type of stocks fished and any other features specific to a given local area, from resulting in non-fulfilment of the objectives of simplification, legislative clarity and non-discrimination; also believes that the CFP should include measures allowing a degree of flexibility in scientifically proven cases in which fishing would not be possible without certain adjustments being made to the general rules;

6.  Draws attention to the need to take due account of the existing scientific studies on small-scale fishing; notes that some of those studies present proposals for a definition of ‘small-scale fishing’, as in the case of the PRESPO project for sustainable development of artisanal fisheries in the Atlantic area, which proposes an approach based on numerical descriptors for the definition and segmentation of European artisanal fishing fleets;

7.  Considers that the definition of small-scale fishing should take account of a range of national and regional characteristics and differences in terms of governance, including, inter alia, respect for an artisanal tradition rooted in the area, with family involvement in both the ownership and activities of fisheries undertakings; stresses that it is important to formulate definition criteria that are flexible and/or can be combined and adapted in a balanced way to the diversity of small-scale fishing existing in the EU;

Local management

8.  Considers that the over-centralised model of fisheries management that has characterised the CFP over the last 30 years has been a failure, and that the current reform must bring about meaningful decentralisation; believes the reform of the CFP must create conditions that allow for local, regional and national specificities; stresses that local management, backed up by scientific knowledge and consultation and participation of the sector in defining, implementing, co-managing and evaluating policy, is the management type that best meets fishing needs and provides the greatest incentives for preventive behaviour among fishermen;

9.  Considers that Regional Advisory Councils (RACs), in the new context of a decentralised and regionalised CFP, should play a much greater role in the future Common Fisheries Policy;

10. Considers it vital to strengthen the role of the advisory committees and to consider collaboration and co-management of resources, thus making it possible to preserve the nature of these committees, with their value enhanced so that they become a management forum, without decision-making powers but in which stakeholders from the sector and NGOs would participate, thereby permitting the addressing of horizontal questions concerning the specific issue of artisanal fishing;

11. Considers that the imposition of a single model for all the Member States, such as transferable fishing concessions (TFCs), does not constitute an appropriate solution, in view of the huge diversity that characterises fishing in the EU;

12. Considers it advantageous to have different models of fisheries management available to Member States and/or regions under a voluntary system, where they are free to choose for themselves within the framework of a regionalised CFP;

13. Strongly rejects the mandatory implementation of TFCs for any type of fleet; believes that the decision as to whether or not to adopt TFCs and which sectors of the fleet to include in this scheme should be left to the Member States in agreement with the competent regions, taking account of the diversity of situations and the opinions of stakeholders; believes it is already possible for Member States to establish a system of transferable fishing concessions in their national legislation;

14. Draws attention to the fact that the TFC system cannot be seen as an infallible measure for resolving problems of overfishing and excess capacity; stresses that a regulatory approach that can make the required adjustments to fishing capacity is always a possible alternative to a market approach;

15. Considers that, once the general management objectives have been set out, the Member States and the competent regions should be given flexibility to decide on the management rules best suited to achieving these objectives within the framework of regionalisation, specifically as regards the right of access to fisheries resources and taking account of the specific characteristics of their fleets, fisheries and resources;

16. Notes the importance of ensuring that all relevant interested parties are involved in the development of policies concerning small-scale coastal fishing and artisanal fishing;

17. Draws attention to the importance of taking into account not only the quantity of the fleet but also its cumulative impact on resources and the selectivity and sustainability of its fishing methods; considers that the future CFP should encourage the increased sustainability of the fleet in environmental, economic and social terms (state of repair and safety, habitability, working conditions, energy efficiency, fish storage, etc), by promoting the progressive prevalence of sectors and operators that use selective fishing techniques and fishing gear with less impact on resources and the marine environment, and that benefit the communities of which they are part in terms of generating jobs and of the quality of those jobs; defends a sustainable balance between protecting existing fisheries resources in maritime areas and protecting the local socio-economic fabric that depends on fishing and shellfishing;

Characteristics of the fleet

18. Rejects a general and indiscriminate reduction in the capacity of the fleet and emphasises that, where necessary it cannot be adjusted solely and obligatorily on the basis of market criteria; considers that such adjustments must be based on an ecosystemic approach, in which the specific decisions relating to managing the small-scale fleet are taken at regional level, respecting the subsidiarity principle, ensuring a tailored fishing regime that gives priority of access to resources and protects the small-scale fleets, and ensuring that communities are involved; calls for a study of the state of the fleet capacity in the EU to be carried out as a matter of urgency;

19. Rejects any general reduction in the capacity of a given fleet solely and obligatorily on the basis of market criteria and imposed by a potential and unwanted enforcement of transferable fishing concessions;

20. Highlights the importance of further research in the field of social, economic and territorial cohesion; points to the need for statistics and indicators at European level that would provide reliable and sufficiently pertinent socio-economic, scientific and environmental data, including broad assessment of fish stocks and catches in both professional and recreational fishing, and calls for the provision of sufficient resources to achieve this; believes such data should also reflect the full range of geographical, cultural and regional differences;

21. Urges the Commission to conduct an assessment of EU fleet capacity so as to enable the most appropriate decisions to be taken;

22. Calls on the Commission to monitor and adjust fleet capacity ceilings for Member States so that they are in line with reliable data and technical advances are taken into account;

23. Points out that the management of small-scale fishing is made more demanding and challenging by the large number of vessels involved and the wide variations in techniques and fisheries; stresses that the availability of information is crucial for effective management, and that more and better information on small-scale fishing is needed;

24. Urges the Commission to work with the Member States, the RACs and stakeholders to improve the characterisation of small-scale fishing and to map its distribution in the EU for the purposes of fisheries management; urges the Commission, in particular and in conjunction with the Member States, to conduct an exhaustive and rigorous study of the size, characteristics and distribution of the different small-scale fishing sectors, analysing as rigorously as possible where, when and how they fish, in order to identify fleet segments in which there is overcapacity and the causes thereof;

25. Points out that currently the Community cofinances no more than 50 % of the budget for gathering, processing and distributing biological data, which is used to support knowledge-based management; calls, accordingly, for the Community to increase its efforts in this area by raising the maximum permissible level for cofinancing;

26. Warns of the need to deepen understanding of the current position of recreational angling and its development, including its economic, social and environmental impact; draws attention to situations in which recreational angling goes beyond its scope and competes illegitimately with professional fishing in the catching and marketing of fish, causing a reduction in market quotas at local and regional level and lowering first-sale prices;

Supporting measures

27. Recognises that the new EMFF has been designed to enable the coastal and artisanal fleet sectors in particular to obtain funding; recognises that, on the basis of the general framework facilitated by the EMFF, the Member States have to set their funding priorities in such a way as to respond to the specific problems of this sector and support the local and sustainable management of the fisheries concerned;

28. Advocates the need to maintain a fund that retains the principal of greater support for cofinanced activities in the outermost regions, as well as preserving the specific compensation instruments for the extra costs associated with fisheries activity and the distribution of fisheries products, considering the structural limitations that affect the fisheries sector in these regions;

29. Emphasises that, given the precarious situation and decline of some coastal communities that depend on fishing, as well as the lack of alternatives for economic diversification, the existing instruments, funds and mechanisms should be reinforced in order to ensure cohesion in terms of employment and ecological sustainability; believes there should be specific acknowledgment of this in the new CFP and MFF framework; also emphasises the need to focus on greater co-management and involvement of the artisanal fishing sector in decision-making, by promoting local and regional strategies and crossborder cooperation in this field, encompassing development, research and training projects and with the appropriate EMFF, ESF and ERDF funding;

30. Calls on the Member States to take account of the importance of the economic, social and cultural roles of women in the fishing industry, so that women can have access to social benefits; emphasises that the active participation of women in fishing-related activities helps firstly to preserve specific cultural traditions and practices, and secondly to ensure the survival of their communities, thereby safeguarding the cultural diversity of the regions concerned;

31. Considers that the rules on implementing the future EMFF should make it possible to finance actions, inter alia in the following areas:

– improving safety, living conditions and on-board working conditions, improving catch preservation, and making vessels more economically and environmentally sustainable (selection of techniques, energy efficiency, etc) while not increasing their fishing capacity;

investment in more sustainable fishing gear;

– promotion of young people’s increased involvement in the sector’s activities and keeping them involved, through a special incentive scheme in response to the employment and sustainability challenges the sector is facing, as well as through start-up packages aimed at securing the entry of a new generation of fishermen into small-scale fisheries;

– construction of specialised fishing ports and specific facilities for the landing, storage and sale of fishery products;

– support for associations, organisations and cooperatives of the sector’s professionals;

– promotion of quality policies;

– promotion of the cohesion of the economic and social fabric of the coastal communities most dependant on small-scale fishing, with a particular focus on the outermost regions, in order to stimulate those coastal regions’ development;

– support for sustainable shellfishing practices, inter alia by offering assistance to those carrying out this activity, many of them women, who suffer from work-related diseases;

– support for the promotion and marketing of artisanal fishery and extensive aquaculture products, through the creation of a European label to distinguish and identify European artisanal fishery and shellfish products, provided they comply with good sustainability practices and the principles of the Common Fisheries Policy;

– support for education and marketing campaigns to make consumers and young people aware of the value of consuming fish from small-scale fisheries, including the positive effects on the local economy and the environment;

– allocation of financing under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund in such a way as to make the fisheries sector more women-friendly by redesigning the sector and providing suitable facilities (such as changing-rooms on boats or in ports);

support for associations of women such as net-makers, port workers and packers;

– vocational training, including training for women working in the fisheries sector, aimed at improving their access to managerial and technical jobs related to fishing;

– enhancing women's role in fishing, in particular by granting support for activities carried out on land, for related professionals and for activities associated with fishing, both upstream and downstream;

32. Stresses that access to funds from the future EMFF should favour projects offering integrated solutions that benefit coastal communities as a whole, rather than those that benefit only a small number of operators; considers that access to EMFF funds should be guaranteed for fishermen and their families and not just for shipowners;

33. Stresses that the common organisation of the market (COM) in fishery and aquaculture products should contribute to enabling a greater output of small-scale fishing, market stability, improved marketing of fisheries products and an increase in their value added; expresses concern at the possibility of abolition of the still-existing public market regulation instruments, public regulatory bodies and supports for storage on land, and calls for an ambitious reform that enhances the COM’s instruments for achieving its goals;

34. Proposes the creation of a European label rewarding small-scale fishery products obtained in accordance with the principles of the CFP, in order to encourage best practice;

35. Advocates the creation of mechanisms that ensure recognition of the so-called externalities generated by small-scale fishing that are not remunerated by the market, in terms of both the environment and the economic and social cohesion of coastal communities;

36. Considers it important to promote a fair and adequate distribution of value added along the sector's value chain;

37. Calls for strict monitoring and certification of fisheries products imported from third countries to ensure that they originate from sustainable fisheries and that they meet the same requirements that Community producers have to comply with (e.g. with regard to labelling, traceability, phytosanitary regulations and minimum sizes);

38. Advocates the creation (within the framework of the EMFF or of other instruments) of specific and temporary support mechanisms to be implemented in emergencies such as natural or man-made disasters (oil slicks, water pollution, etc), fishing stoppages imposed by plans for restoring stocks or restructuring, or sudden short-term increases in fuel prices;

39. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take steps to ensure that women benefit from equal pay and other social and economic rights, including insurance covering the risks to which they are exposed by working in the fisheries sector and recognition of their specific disorders as occupational diseases;

40. Recognises that temporary fishing bans, otherwise known as biological rest periods, are an important and proven means of conserving fishery resources, as well as being an essential instrument for sustainably managing specific fisheries; recognises that establishing fishing bans during specific critical phases in the life-cycle of a species allows stocks to develop in a way that is compatible with fishing outside the rest period; believes is fair and necessary under these circumstances to financially compensate fishermen during the inactivity period, specifically through the EMFF;

41. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to contemplate ways of achieving positive discrimination in favour of small-scale fishing as against large-scale fishing and fleets of a more industrialised nature, while ensuring that the management of fisheries as a whole is effective and sustainable; considers that spatially segregating different fishing techniques and thus defining areas reserved exclusively for small-scale fishing, is one of the options for consideration;

42. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take steps to promote and achieve greater recognition, both legal and social, for the work of women in the fisheries sector, and to ensure that women who work full- or part-time for family undertakings or assist their spouses, thereby contributing to their own economic sustainability and that of their families, receive legal recognition or social benefits equivalent to those enjoyed by people with self-employed status, in particular by applying Directive 2010/41/EU, and that their social and economic rights are guaranteed, including equal pay, the right to unemployment benefit if they lose their jobs (temporarily or permanently), the right to a pension, work-life balance, access to maternity leave, access to social security and free healthcare, and workplace health and safety, as well as other social and economic rights including insurance covering risks at sea;

43. Advocates retaining the special access regime for small-scale fisheries within the twelve-mile zone;

44. Considers it necessary to involve small-scale fishing, in particular, in exchanges on the spatial planning of the twelve-mile zone, where there are generally more usages and offshore wind turbines, as well as gravel extraction and marine protected areas, often having to exist alongside fishing activities in the same zone;

45. Draws attention to the need for greater involvement and participation of small-scale fishing professionals in the management, definition and implementation of fisheries policies; underlines the importance of giving greater support to fishermen’s groups and professional organisations that are willing to share responsibility for applying the CFP, with a view to further decentralising the policy; urges small-scale fisheries operators either to join existing producers’ organisations or form new such organisations;

46. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions, the Governments of the Member States and the Regional Advisory Councils.

(1)

OJ L 358, 31.12.2002, p. 59.

(2)

OJ L 223/1, 15.8.2006, p. 1-44.

(3)

OJ C 286 E, 23.11.2006, p. 519.

(4)

OJ C 300 E, 9.12.2006, p. 504.

(5)

Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0382.

(6)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0052.

(7)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0039.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

The concept of ‘small-scale fishing’ covers fleets, fishing techniques and fisheries that may be fairly different from each other, and may vary between different Member States and fishing areas. Despite these differences, they share a range of characteristics, which make them similar to each other and set them apart from what is usually referred to as ‘large-scale fishing’ (which includes industrial fishing).

The following, inter alia, are characteristics associated with small-scale fishing: strong ties to the economy, social structure, culture and traditions of coastal towns and communities; fishing activity undertaken relatively close to the coast and involving shorter periods at sea; greater direct incorporation of human labour, or the employment of more individuals per unit of fish caught; the use of less fuel per unit of fish caught; the use of techniques that are more selective and able to have less impact on living marine resources; closer cooperation between the fisher, the resources and the community of which he/she is part, which could facilitate understanding of the importance of properly conserving resources; involvement in simpler marketing structures and shorter supply chains, with the majority of the fish destined to be consumed fresh; and the prevalence, amongst other operators, of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises, and of family enterprises.

As has been mentioned in various European Parliament resolutions, in particular the Resolution of 15 June 2006 on inshore fishing and the problems encountered by inshore fishing communities, and the Resolution of 25 February 2010, on the Green Paper on Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, small-scale fishing should be the subject of differentiated treatment, with management systems and models adapted to its specific characteristics and problems.

European Commission Proposals for CFP Reform

The European Commission’s proposals for reforming the CFP are not considered to take duly into account the specific characteristics of small-scale fishing. These proposals do not offer an adequate response to the problems currently faced by small-scale fishing.

The objectives set out for conserving resources – the need for which is not denied, in general terms; quite the contrary – are not accompanied by the definition of economic and social objectives. The socioeconomic dimension of fisheries policy is thus being neglected. This issue is particularly pertinent for small-scale fishing, given the difficult socioeconomic situation it faces.

The European Commission continues to suggest the centralised management of the CFP, which often results in guidelines that are ill suited to reality, that are poorly understood by the sector (which does not participate in debating or drafting them), that are hard to implement and that often have the opposite effect to that intended. The chapter on ‘regionalisation’ does not guarantee the local management that is sought after and required, and that indisputably responds best to the needs of small-scale fishing.

Yet again, the great diversity that characterises the reality of fisheries in the EU is not being taken into account, with the proposal of a single, mandatory system for accessing resources. Implementing this system along the suggested lines could have profoundly negative consequences for small-scale fishing sectors, since the adopted definition of ‘small-scale fishing’ is reductionist and detached from reality.

Necessary Changes

The rapporteur believes there is a need to give greater consideration to small-scale fishing in the reform of the CFP. Greater consideration is needed of its problems, but also of its potential, which translates to a series of changes to the three pillars of the reform: the Basic Regulation, the COM Regulation and the financial instrument for implementing the CFP, now known as the EMFF.

The definition of ‘small-scale fishing’ needs to take into account a range of criteria, in addition to a strict boat-size criterion. It is imperative, inter alia, to consider the impact of the fleet and of fishing techniques on the marine ecosystem, the time spent at sea and the characteristics of the economic unit exploiting the resources.

The reform of the CFP should guarantee conditions for genuine local management that indisputably responds best to the needs of small-scale fishing. Once general objectives had been set out, such management would have broad freedom and autonomy to provide the instruments best suited to the pursuit of these objectives, taking into account local, regional and national specificities.

The quality of the fleet should be taken into consideration, as well as its quantity. The CFP reform should encourage the increased environmental, economic and social sustainability of the fleet. This objective runs counter to the generalised reduction in the fleet’s capacity determined purely by market criteria, which is the result of implementing the system of TFCs. With this system, it will be the operators with the greatest economic and financial power that predominate, not necessarily the most socially and environmentally sustainable ones.

The CFP reform should encourage a change in the size of the fleets to the predominance of sectors and operators that use fishing techniques with less impact on resources and of greater benefit to the communities of which they are part in terms of generating jobs and of the quality of those jobs.

Specific Challenges and Proposals

The high number of boats involved and the great variety of techniques and fisheries create considerable demands on and challenges for the management of small-scale fishing. The availability of information is key to the effectiveness of this management. There is a need for more and better information on small-scale fishing; without this, it will be hard to achieve better management.

The European Commission should, alongside the Member States, set out a more exhaustive and rigorous definition of small-scale fishing. There is a need to know better where, when and how small-scale fishing boats fish. This information should serve as a support for local management founded on knowledge. To this end, it is crucial to increase EU funding for gathering, processing and disseminating such information; this is needed with regard to the acquisition of biological data.

Your rapporteur is tabling a series of specific proposals for supporting small-scale fishing.

Consideration should be given to the drawing up an EU programme supporting small-scale fishing that, by linking up existing instruments, particularly in the financial field (such as, inter alia, the future EMFF and the COM), is intended to respond to the specific problems of this sector and support the local and sustainable management of the involved fisheries.

The allocation of a minimum sum to small-scale fishing from the EMFF should be guaranteed.

Projects with integrated solutions that benefit coastal communities as a whole should be encouraged, at the expense of those that benefit only a small number of operators. Access to them should be guaranteed for families and not just ship owners.

It is crucial to use this programme to encourage young people’s increased involvement in the sector’s activities by ensuring support for, inter alia, the satisfaction of needs in terms of vocational training and starting out. Activities on land should be duly taken into account and valued. The role of women in fishing should be recognised and valued.

Mechanisms should be created that ensure recognition of the so-called externalities generated by small-scale fishing and not remunerated by the market, in terms both of the environment and of the economic and social cohesion of coastal communities.

Whilst acknowledging the existing problems, the review of the COM should increase its contribution to ensuring the output of small-scale fishing, market stability, improved marketing of fisheries products and increased value added. This vision is incompatible with the abolition of the still-existing public market-regulation instruments. To the contrary, the situation being experienced in the sector, particularly by small-scale fishing, requires ambitious reform that enhances the COM’s instruments for achieving its goals.

In view of small-scale fishing’s structural weaknesses, this sector is more exposed to certain types of external shock and to rapid changes in the availability of resources than the elements of the fleet considered more competitive. As such, consideration should be given to the possibility of creating specific support mechanisms to be implemented in emergencies, such as natural disasters, fishing stoppages imposed by plans for restoring stocks or sudden increases in fuel prices.


OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development (7.5.2012)

for the Committee on Fisheries

on the small scale and artisanal fisheries and the CFP reform

(2011/2292(INI))

Rapporteur: Ana Miranda

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Regional Development calls on the Committee on Fisheries, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Recognises that artisanal coastal fishing, shellfishing and carefully regulated and well-managed extensive aquaculture are the forms of fishing that are sustainable from a social, economic and environmental perspective, and which also constitute a determining factor for the socio-economic development of coastal communities; stresses that these forms of fishing have a considerable cultural impact and are territorially very diverse, being carried out on the mainland, on islands and in the outermost regions; points out that they are affected by negative factors such as lack of effective water treatment, human-made and natural disasters, competition from large-scale fishing operations, spills, oil slicks, excessive growth of seaboard construction, the effects of large projects on coasts, the effects of climate change, and the lack of clearly-defined regulatory regimes for sustainable local development, and are also vulnerable to changes in local employment patterns;

2.  Expresses its concern over the Commission’s proposal to establish transferable fishing concessions, as this scheme could lead to fishing rights being concentrated in the hands of a small number of operators, resulting in the disappearance of numerous small-scale fisheries;

3.  Points out that small-scale fishing not only promotes socio-economic cohesion and ensures sustenance for large numbers of families, but also constitutes a factor keeping fishing communities in existence in all coastal areas; stresses the importance of pursuing an approach to the fisheries sector that takes into account the biological, ecological and social levels, with a view to creating a sustainable balance between the state of existing resources in the different maritime areas and the protection of the socio-economic fabric of coastal communities which are dependent on inshore fishing to ensure jobs and prosperity;

4.  Stresses the need to encourage young people to take up careers in fishing and to support fishermen through professional training;

5.  Highlights the importance of further research in the field of social, economic and territorial cohesion; points to the need for statistics and indicators at European level that would provide reliable and sufficiently pertinent socio-economic, scientific and environmental data, including broad assessment of fish stocks and catches, in both professional and recreational fishing, and requests the provision of sufficient resources to achieve this; Believes such data should also reflect the full range of geographical, cultural and regional differences;

6.  Regrets the absence of a unanimous definition of artisanal fisheries in the EU, given that the existing definition based on vessel size is no longer relevant and is at odds with the situation on the ground; proposes, therefore, that the Commission draw up a future definition in terms of governance, responding to various criteria such as regional characteristics and differences, geomorphology, the technical aspects of fishing, and the social, scientific, biological and environmental aspects;

7.  Emphasises that, given the precarious situation and decline of some coastal communities that depend on fishing, as well as the lack of alternatives for economic diversification, the existing instruments, funds and mechanisms should be reinforced in order to ensure cohesion in terms of employment and ecological sustainability; believes there should be specific acknowledgment of this in the new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and MFF framework; also emphasises the need to focus on greater co-management and involvement of the artisanal fishing sector in decision-making, by promoting local and regional strategies and crossborder cooperation in this field, encompassing development, research and training projects, with the appropriate EMFF, ESF and ERDF funding; in this regard, calls on the Commission to explore the possibility of creating a new Regional Advisory Council;

8.  Emphasises the great and unexploited potential of environmentally sustainable aquaculture in terms of creating a basis for SMEs in the areas of production and processing, as well as employment opportunities in both coastal and inland regions;

9.  Calls for the simplification of the procedures for approving EU funding, in particular by introducing a schedule of one-off costs for repayment and global grants to certain professional bodies;

10. Stresses that the EU fleet needs to be adjusted, but not at the expense of the artisanal fleet, because such a situation would be damaging to coastal areas in social, economic and cultural terms; considers that the basis for action should, on the contrary, be an ecosystem approach, in which specific management decisions relating to the artisanal fleet would be taken at regional level, always respecting the principle of subsidiarity; the resulting differentiated fishing system would give priority to access to resources and protect inshore artisanal fleets while ensuring the involvement of local fishing communities;

11. Calls on the Commission, therefore, to ensure that the future European Maritime and Fisheries Fund includes sufficient funding for artisanal fishing, shellfishing, shellfish farming, sustainable extensive aquaculture and equipment renewal and modernisation, as well as establishing specific simpler programmes to support sustainable small-scale fishing, geared to coastal and island communities that depend mainly on fishing, and that marketing and promotion programmes for this food source in the local communities are established, giving priority access to these resources to those who fish and shellfish in the most environmentally and socially sustainable manner;

12. Proposes the creation of a European label rewarding small-scale fishing products obtained in accordance with the principles of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), in order to encourage best practice;

13. Points out that, unlike the industrial fleet, the selective artisanal fleet promotes increased employment amongst European citizens, represents greater sustainability, and fosters other maritime activities in local coastal communities;

14. Calls for full regionalisation of the definition of small-scale and artisanal fisheries;

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

26.4.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

35

0

1

Members present for the final vote

François Alfonsi, Luís Paulo Alves, Jean-Paul Besset, Victor Boştinaru, John Bufton, Alain Cadec, Nikos Chrysogelos, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Danuta Maria Hübner, Filiz Hakaeva Hyusmenova, María Irigoyen Pérez, Seán Kelly, Constanze Angela Krehl, Petru Constantin Luhan, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Ramona Nicole Mănescu, Vladimír Maňka, Iosif Matula, Erminia Mazzoni, Ana Miranda, Jens Nilsson, Lambert van Nistelrooij, Jan Olbrycht, Wojciech Michał Olejniczak, Markus Pieper, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Monika Smolková, Ewald Stadler, Georgios Stavrakakis, Nuno Teixeira, Joachim Zeller

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Jens Geier, Maurice Ponga, Patrice Tirolien, Giommaria Uggias

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Julie Girling


OPINION of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (26.4.2012)

for the Committee on Fisheries

on the small-scale and artisanal fisheries and the CFP reform

(2011(2292)(INI))

Rapporteur: Barbara Matera

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality calls on the Committee on Fisheries, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

–   having regard to its resolution of 15 December 2005 on Women’s networks: fishing, farming and diversification(1),

–   having regard to Directive 2010/41/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 July 2000 on the application of the principle of equal treatment between men and women engaged in an activity in a self-employed capacity and repealing Council Directive 86/613/EEC(2),

–   having regard to the May 2008 study by the Policy Department on ‘The role of women in the Sustainable Development of European Fisheries Areas’,

A. whereas women play a fundamental role in fishing- and aquaculture-related areas, fish processing, marketing and management and provide other forms of support for those working in the fishing industry;

B.  whereas the work of women in the fisheries sector needs to be made visible, since 85% of the women working in this sector work in small-scale and artisanal fisheries, and whereas in many of Europe’s coastal regions these fisheries constitute their main source of income;

C. whereas women are economically discriminated against in the fishing sector, and whereas they are paid less than men for the same work and, in many cases, their work has no legal recognition, meaning that they are unable to access adequate social protection; whereas doing this work also exposes them to a high level of risk and has a significant impact on their health;

D. whereas women often handle the administrative side of fisheries undertakings, taking responsibility for financial matters, harbour duties, unloading, obtaining supplies for, and assisting, fishermen, fish auctions, book-keeping and net making and mending, and whereas unrecognised – and in many cases unpaid – work by women increases when the industry is faced with a crisis and they are unable to access aid when fishing activities have ceased;

E.  whereas there are still too many legal and social obstacles preventing women’s full participation in the area of representation in the fisheries sector, and whereas women are even banned from involvement in the decision-making bodies of some communities and associations;

F.  whereas the specific disorders that affect women working in the fisheries sector are not recognised as occupational diseases;

1.  Stresses the importance of gender mainstreaming and incorporating the principle of equality between women and men in all areas of EU fisheries policy reform;

2.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take steps to promote and achieve greater recognition, both legal and social, for the work of women in the fisheries sector, and to ensure that women who work full- or part-time for family undertakings or assist their spouses, thereby contributing to their own economic sustainability and that of their families, are given legal recognition or social benefits equivalent to those enjoyed by people with self-employed status, in particular by applying Directive 2010/41/EU, and that their social and economic rights are guaranteed, including equal wages, unemployment benefits if they lose their jobs (temporarily or permanently), the right to a pension, work-life balance, access to maternity leave, access to social security and free health care, and work-place health and safety, and other social and economic rights including insurance covering risks at sea;

3.  Welcomes the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) 2014-2020 priority to increase employment, territorial cohesion and social inclusion in fisheries-dependent communities under an ‘agenda for new skills and jobs’; calls, in this context, on the Commission and the Member States to ensure, throughout the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform, that equal opportunity between men and women and the integration of the gender perspective will be promoted during the various stages of implementation of the EMFF, including its design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation;

4.  Emphasises that the active participation of women in fishing-related activities helps firstly to preserve specific cultural traditions and practices and, secondly, to ensure the survival of their communities, thereby safeguarding the cultural diversity of the regions concerned;

5.  Calls on the Member States to take into account the importance of the economic, social and cultural roles of women in the fishing industry so that they can have access to social benefits, and as a means to ensure a balanced gender representation in fisheries-related occupations;

6.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that women are allocated quotas in the fishing industry and to clearly include in legislation the principle of co-ownership for spouses, in terms of the allocation of quotas;

7.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to undertake a social study aimed at assessing the impact that the implementation of quotas will have within fishing communities, in order to monitor potential social changes in these communities, by using social indicators such as education level, the contribution of wives and partners, health, the age of children, the willingness of mothers to pass on the fishing profession to their children and the well-being of families and communities;

8.  Stresses the need to allocate European Maritime and Fisheries Fund financing in such a way as to make the fisheries sector more women-friendly by redesigning the sector and providing proper facilities (such as changing rooms on boats or in ports);

9.  Urges the Commission to support specific projects with the objective of recognising, promoting and diversifying the role of women in fishing-related areas, and considers that particular attention should be paid to modernising fishing boats in order to improve working and hygiene conditions on board, product quality and energy efficiency, and to ensure selectivity of gear;

10. Maintains that an EU support programme should be drawn up for small-scale fishing, making use of a range of resources, especially in financial terms (including the future EMFF and the Common Market Organisation (CMO) for fishery and aquaculture products), in order to respond to the specific problems of this sector and support sustainable locally-based management of the fisheries involved, and taking into account the problems affecting women in the sector;

11. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to provide data and statistics, segregated by gender, on type of employment (e.g. full-time, part-time, occasional), status (self-employment, salaried, collaborative spouse) and type of production (small-, medium- or large-scale in fisheries and aquaculture) and to recognise categories of workers in this sector who are not included in the fisheries’ employment statistics, e.g. shellfish gatherers;

12. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to support and recognise the rights of fishers’ spouses or partners to be eligible for membership of, and stand for election to, fisheries organisations at all levels in the Member States; underlines the need to promote and enhance women’s effective participation in representative, decision-making and advisory bodies in the fisheries sector at European, national and regional levels; welcomes the Commission’s intention to extend the role of the Advisory Councils and calls on the Commission and the Member States to increase the participation of women’s fisheries and aquaculture organisations in the Advisory Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture (ACFA) and the Regional Advisory Councils (RACs);

13. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to support, through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the Structural Funds, the provision of more occupational training and education to women working in the fisheries sector, in order to give them greater access to technical and managerial jobs; also calls for channels to be set up with a view to improving the dissemination of information about training opportunities and the funding available to make use of them;

14. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to allocate greater financing to community research programmes in aquaculture activities which enhance growth in the fisheries sector as a means to create new jobs in which women should be included on the basis of quotas;

15. Highlights the importance of women’s participation in research projects focusing on the repercussions of restructuring of the fisheries sector, bearing in mind the fact that women’s experience constitutes an invaluable contribution, and the need to guarantee that the gender dimension is duly taken into account;

16. Stresses that the EU should target its investments having potential for job creation at global fisheries’ markets by selling its technology and know-how in order to tackle any challenges relating to issues of safety and sustainability, and through these measures also support the work of women in this field;

17. Highlights the specific situation of female shellfishers (a job carried out principally by women aged over 50, who suffer health problems as a result of their work) and reiterates its call, therefore, for the Commission to draw up a specific pilot project covering all these points and providing solutions to the problems resulting from this work; urges the Commission and the Member States to provide legal recognition for periods of enforced inactivity for public-health reasons (toxins, natural disasters, discharges, oil spills), and to recognise certain conditions or illnesses that affect women working in the artisanal fishing and shellfishing sector (such as rheumatic and bone disorders);

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

24.4.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

24

1

0

Members present for the final vote

Emine Bozkurt, Andrea Češková, Iratxe García Pérez, Zita Gurmai, Mikael Gustafsson, Mary Honeyball, Sophia in ‘t Veld, Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, Silvana Koch-Mehrin, Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Astrid Lulling, Barbara Matera, Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, Angelika Niebler, Siiri Oviir, Antonyia Parvanova, Joanna Katarzyna Skrzydlewska, Marc Tarabella, Britta Thomsen, Marina Yannakoudakis, Anna Záborská, Inês Cristina Zuber

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Franziska Katharina Brantner, Christa Klaß, Ana Miranda, Mariya Nedelcheva, Katarína Neveďalová, Antigoni Papadopoulou

(1)

OJ C 286 E, 23.11.2006, p. 519.

(2)

OJ L 180, 15.7.2010, p. 1.


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

19.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

21

0

3

Members present for the final vote

Antonello Antinoro, Kriton Arsenis, Alain Cadec, Chris Davies, João Ferreira, Carmen Fraga Estévez, Pat the Cope Gallagher, Marek Józef Gróbarczyk, Ian Hudghton, Iliana Malinova Iotova, Werner Kuhn, Isabella Lövin, Gabriel Mato Adrover, Guido Milana, Maria do Céu Patrão Neves, Crescenzio Rivellini, Ulrike Rodust, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Isabelle Thomas, Nils Torvalds, Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Jean-Paul Besset, Luis Manuel Capoulas Santos, Diane Dodds, Julie Girling, Jens Nilsson, Nikolaos Salavrakos, Antolín Sánchez Presedo, Ioannis A. Tsoukalas

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Nuno Teixeira

Posljednje ažuriranje: 11. listopad 2012.Pravna napomena