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Procedure : 2010/2113(INI)
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CRE 12/09/2011 - 25

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Tuesday, 13 September 2011 - Strasbourg Final edition
Black Sea fisheries

European Parliament resolution of 13 September 2011 on current and future management of Black Sea fisheries (2010/2113(INI))

The European Parliament ,

–  having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and to its resolution of 7 May 2009 on Parliament's new role and responsibilities in implementing the Treaty of Lisbon(1) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 20 January 2011 on an EU strategy for the Black Sea(2) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 February 2010 on the Green Paper on the reform of the common fisheries policy(3) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 21 October 2010 entitled ‘The integrated maritime policy – evaluation of progress made and new challenges’(4) ,

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU) No 1256/2010 of 17 December 2010 fixing the fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks applicable in the Black Sea for 2011(5) ,

–  having regard to Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora(6) ,

–  having regard to Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy (Marine Strategy Framework Directive)(7) ,

–  having regard to the Communication from the Commission entitled ‘An integrated maritime policy for the EU’ (COM(2007)0575),

–  having regard to the 1992 Convention on the protection of the Black Sea against pollution (the Bucharest Convention) and its protocols,

–  having regard to the 1993 Ministerial declaration on the protection of the Black Sea (the Odessa declaration),

–  having regard to the 2007 Black Sea transboundary diagnostic analysis(8) ,

–  having regard to the 2008 report on the state of the environment of the Black Sea by the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution,

–  having regard to the 2009 strategic action plan for the environmental protection and rehabilitation of Black Sea by the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution,

–  having regard to the 1982 United Nations conventions on the law of the sea,

–  having regard to the United Nations Agreement for the implementation of the provisions of the convention of 10 December 1982 relating to the conservation and management of straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks,

–  having regard to the agreement relating to the implementation of Part XI of the convention on the law of the sea,

–  having regard to the 1995 FAO code of conduct for responsible fisheries,

–  having regard to the 1992 United Nations convention on biological diversity,

–  having regard to the United Nations convention on international trade of endangered species,

–  having regard to the United Nations convention on wetlands of international importance especially as waterflow habitats (Ramsar Convention),

–  having regard to the 1979 convention on the conservation of migratory species of wild animals (Bonn Convention),

–  having regard to the agreement on the conservation of cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic area (ACCOBAMS),

–  having regard to the 1995 United Nations fish stocks agreement,

–  having regard to the 2008 report entitled ‘Strengthening cooperation in the Black Sea’ of the thirty-second session of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM),

–  having regard to the GFCM's 2009 regional study on small tunas in the Mediterranean, including the Black Sea,

–  having regard to the Organisation for Black Sea Economic Cooperation,

–  having regard to the joint declaration of the Prague eastern partnership summit of 7 May 2009 (Prague Declaration),

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Fisheries (A7-0236/2011),

A.  whereas the debate on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in the EU is still ongoing, and whereas it should take into account the specificities and needs of this aquatory, because this will be the first reform of the CFP incorporating the Black Sea,

B.  whereas until today there has been loose, or even non-existent, collaboration and cooperation, a lack of a concrete, harmonised legislative framework and a lack of a common legislative act governing fishing activities between the Black Sea states, owing to the fact that all the waters are under the jurisdiction of different coastal states, as well as to the general lack of adequate, systematic research and scientific information on the Black Sea basin,

C.  whereas the management of fisheries in the Black Sea is extremely difficult, because only two out of the six countries bordering the basin are EU Member States and even those two are new Member States which only joined the EU in 2007,

D.  whereas the creation of a common policy mechanism for the six countries bordering the Black Sea should be examined from a long-term perspective in order, among other things, to guarantee protection of the environment and facilitate the economic and social development of littoral areas,

E.  whereas this new policy mechanism for the Black Sea should aim to preserve and improve biodiversity and the prosperity of the people working in the fisheries sector in the area, which are among the priorities of the European Union,

F.  whereas the Black Sea should take its proper place amongst Europe's major marine areas, given that it is the youngest and most dynamic of the semi-closed seas,

G.  whereas the Black Sea should take its place in the reformed CFP and in the Integrated Maritime Policy, and whereas the needs of fishermen, and of the fishing, producing and processing industries, should be taken adequately into consideration in the new financial framework of the European Fisheries Fund after 2013,

H.  whereas the current report could not only be taken into consideration as a guideline for the reform of the CFP, but could also become part of a future EU policy on collaboration with its eastern partners to maximise the use of the existing Commission communication on Black Sea Synergy (COM(2007)0160), in order to intensify cooperation in the Black Sea region, in which fisheries and the development of the various sectors play a significant role,

I.  whereas fisheries management in Black Sea region would benefit significantly from more coordinated scientific cooperation among the littoral states, as well as from a coherent policy for the preservation and improvement of the state of fish stocks at European level,

J.  whereas many of the marine ecosystems in general, and the ecosystem of the Black Sea in particular, are seriously affected by dynamic changes directly related to fishing, climate change and pollution,

K.  whereas the veined rapa whelk (Rapana venosa) population has a negative impact on, and is a threat to the ecological balance of, the Black Sea, as it destroys natural filterers of water such as the blue mussel (Mythilus galloprovincialis) and the striped white venus (Chamelea gallina),

L.  whereas the majority of the fishing vessels used in the Black Sea by EU fishermen are less than 12 meters long, and thus have a limited impact on the Black Sea marine environment; they should, however, respect the efforts being made to achieve sustainable fisheries and assume their responsibilities in this regard,

M.  whereas illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the Black Sea should be tackled immediately,

N.  whereas the lack of a common agreement among the six countries bordering the Black Sea could be remedied by a framework agreement negotiated, for instance, on the basis of a communication from the Commission, in which the interests of all parties would be expressed and taken into consideration,

O.  whereas a large part of the problems of the Black Sea is the result of the lack of an appropriate institutional structure that coordinates and carries out the management of Black Sea fisheries at a professional and specialised level; whereas negotiations have been ongoing between the national administrations involved in fisheries policy implementation for the past ten years on the creation of such an institutional structure, as well as on its form and responsibilities, and whereas these negotiations have not yet been successful; whereas, for this reason, no adequate measures have been taken to control catches and, in particular, cross-border fishing,

P.  whereas, the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), whose mandate covers the area of the Black Sea, does not as yet meet the needs and expectations of the stakeholders, particularly fishermen, to the extent possible, and should make use of all available tools related to this area,

Q.  whereas the Black Sea differs significantly from the Mediterranean with regards to its fish stocks, levels of pollution, variety of species, dominant species, common biomass and productivity,

R.  whereas in January 2011 the European Parliament adopted a report on an EU Strategy for the Black Sea(9) , which also underlines the need for the application of multiannual management plans for fisheries, as well as the creation of a separate regional body for the management of Black Sea fisheries,


1.  Points out that a viable, stable and sustainable fisheries sector should be established at European level and that, more specifically, the Black Sea needs a special policy to preserve and improve the situation of fisheries resources and ensure that the fisheries sector is suited to the Black Sea basin, bearing in mind the specificities of the Black Sea region, as well as the fact that the Black Sea fisheries policy should be integral part of the upcoming reform of the CFP;

2.  Underlines the need for more accurate analytical and scientific research coordinated at a regional, national and European level to preserve and improve fisheries resources and ecosystems in the Black Sea basin;

3.  Recognises the Commission's efforts to promote a more solid and structured dialogue with non-Member States bordering the Black Sea, and encourages the Commission to intensify its efforts until such time as a more structured common framework covering the whole Black Sea basin and following a regional approach to the management of fisheries in the region is agreed;

4.  Takes the view that all decisions and policies related to the Black Sea should be based on solid scientific data and calls for collaboration among all stakeholders to this end;

5.  Stresses the need for continuous scientific analysis of the state of fish stocks and a stable, long-term system of fisheries observation, and notes that all the Black Sea littoral states need to participate in this analysis;

6.  Encourages the Commission to use all the diplomatic and financial means available to it to help achieve concrete results on successful and sustainable fisheries, in the interests of the EU, including making the best use of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly and the Eastern Partnership Initiative, given the crucial role of the EU's immediate neighbours;

7.  Calls for an enhanced system of monitoring, control and surveillance of fishing activities, which will contribute to long-term sustainable exploitation of fish stocks and to combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in a more effective way;

8.  Supports the international role of the operations of the Community Fisheries Control Agency and calls for a more active contribution and more effective cooperation in the control, inspection and surveillance of the Black Sea area;

9.  Takes the view that fishing techniques for demersal species should be examined carefully and in detail in order to identify the non- or least detrimental species for the seabed; stresses that appropriate use of fishing techniques for demersal stocks is of great importance in preventing the growth of excessive populations of veined rapa whelk (Rapana venosa), which threaten the natural filter represented by the seawater blue mussel (Mythilus galloprovincialis), the stripped venus clam (Chamelea gallina), noble oyster (Ostrea edulis) populations and many other shellfish;

10.  Takes the view that the Black Sea should have an appropriate status in Community policies, and that to this end appropriate diplomatic and scientific efforts should be undertaken and adequate financial resources made available for sustainable fisheries in the basin; believes that EU budgetary resources should be flexible, accessible and transparent, so as to enable the EU to ensure the sustainability of the Black Sea fisheries;

11.  Stresses that dialogue between stakeholders is the basis for successful promotion of the Integrated Maritime Policy in the Black Sea area; notes that the Integrated Maritime Policy should also facilitate the establishment of a conflict- and trouble-free link between maritime sectors, taking into account the sustainable development of coastal areas;

12.  Underlines the important role of bilateral cooperation and international agreements, given that the majority of the Black Sea states are not EU members and hence not obliged to respect community legislation;

13.  Believes that all the Black Sea states, especially those that are EU Member States or candidate countries, should respect the EU and international law applying to fishing activities, the aim of which is to guarantee the sustainability not only of fish stocks, but also of the fishing sector;

14.  Encourages the Commission further to promote the development of coastal areas by developing sustainable fisheries, which is particularly important for the Black Sea region, with its high unemployment rates;

Specific considerations

15.  Expresses its satisfaction with the Commission's efforts to establish working groups in the field of fisheries management with Turkey and the Russian Federation, providing the basis for further debate on cooperation; calls on the Commission to extend its efforts and dialogue with all countries bordering the Black Sea; calls on the Commission to make full use of the existing organisations, as well as the relevant tools, in order to make progress towards better policy coordination; takes the view, meanwhile, that a separate regional fisheries management organisation (RFMO) for the Black Sea could in the long term foster and promote communication between scientific institutes and professional organisations of fishermen, producers and processors with a view to settling issues and deepening cooperation in the Black Sea; encourages the Commission to work with the Black Sea countries at a bilateral level, bearing in mind that many of them are not members of the European Union;

16.  Underlines the need to examine in the long term the creation of a RFMO, which would coordinate scientific research, analyse the situation of fish stocks and carry out special policies regarding observation of endangered species; notes that this organisation could also make suggestions regarding the level of the fisheries multiannual management plans and distribute the quotas for the countries bordering the Black Sea;

17.  Urges the EU to use its diplomatic resources to convince as many non-EU Black Sea littoral countries as possible of the value of the principles of the EU Common Fisheries Policy, especially with regard to the application of the multiannual management plans;

18.  Believes that EU tools should be used in scientific activities as an instrument to foster and facilitate cooperation and joint work between the European scientific teams and their counterparts from the Ukraine, the Russian Federation, Georgia and Turkey;

19.  Believes that EU activities related to Black Sea fisheries, particularly the Integrated Maritime Policy, should focus mainly on small-scale fishing, which is crucial for the region and the economic status of coastal areas;

20.  Stresses that the EU's Common Fisheries Policy should encourage the establishment of professional fishermen's organisations and inter-branch organisations in the fisheries and aquaculture industries in the Black Sea where they are lacking or very underdeveloped;

21.  Believes that the principles of annual TACs and quotas currently applied should not be the only option for the management of Black Sea fisheries; believes that multiannual management plans should be fostered and could provide for more clarity on the EU's objectives in the field of fisheries in the Black Sea region and its vision for the future of the basin;

22.  Stresses that there should be a shared, coordinated, long-term approach by all stakeholders in the region with a view to all parties in the Black Sea pursuing sustainable fisheries, and therefore welcomes the exchange of good practice among the stakeholders involved;

23.  Stresses the importance of managing fisheries with a view to ensuring that ecosystems are viable and sustainable, that fishing is carried out legally and that action is taken against IUU fishing; calls for the establishment of a European coastguard in order to develop cooperation between Member States in an effective way so as to boost maritime security and combat new threats at sea, in particular in the Black Sea;

24.  Believes that the multiannual management plans are of very great interest for both the economic situation of the fishing sector and the environmental situation of the Black Sea ecosystems; believes that the multiannual management plan approach should be accompanied by effective control of catches;

25.  Underlines the need to encourage scientific research on Black Sea issues, so that the decisions taken by the European, regional and national authorities responsible can take account of their economic, social and environmental consequences; believes it is necessary to conduct detailed, coordinated research in order to give a clear and unequivocal answer to the questions of fisheries management and the possible impact of fishing methods (e.g. trawling on the seabed), since in the absence of studies on their effects no serious conclusions can be drawn; takes the view that research programmes and projects in the field of Black Sea fisheries, such as SESAME, KNOWSEAS, WISER and BlackSeaFish, should be further encouraged;

o   o

26.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the governments and parliaments of the Ukraine, the Russian Federation, Georgia and Turkey.

(1) OJ C 212 E, 5.8.2010, p. 37.
(2) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0025.
(3) OJ C 348 E, 21.12.2010, p. 15.
(4) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0386.
(5) OJ L 343, 29.12.2010, p. 2.
(6) OJ L 206, 22.7.1992, p. 50.
(7) OJ L 164, 25.6.2008, p. 19.
(9) See European Parliament abovementioned resolution of 20 January 2011.

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