Motion for a resolution - B7-0579/2011Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the contribution of the Common Fisheries Policy to the production of public goods


to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission
pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Maria do Céu Patrão Neves on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0579/2011

Procedure : 2011/2899(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
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European Parliament resolution on the contribution of the Common Fisheries Policy to the production of public goods

The European Parliament,

–   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,

–   having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982,

–   having regard to the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, adopted on 31 October 1995,

–   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 Rio+20: towards the green economy and better governance, COM(2011)363,

–   having regard to the Communication Europe 2020, COM(2010)2020,

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the fishing sector is an activity that develops itself in the seas, as well as in other hydrographical basins (brackish and fresh water), such as rivers, lakes, estuaries, etc., comprehending three main strands, extracting, processing and marketing;

B.  whereas aquaculture, marine and freshwater, inshore and offshore, is an important and rising complementary and incorporated part of the fishing sector;

C.  whereas the fishing activity extends its impact to the coastal zone, contributing to its management and also to its social and economical dynamics, which is particularly important for their communities, frequently disadvantaged, with scarcity of jobs and weak economies;

D.  whereas the European fishing sector contributes significantly to the social development in several regions of Europe highly dependent on this activity, by creating jobs, directly and indirectly, upstream and downstream, and being responsible for more than 350.000 jobs, fishing and fish processing considered;

E.  whereas the European fishing sector contributes rather significantly to the economic growth of Europe, not only through its core activity by which it is the fourth largest in the world, providing 6.4 million tons of fish each year, but also by its input to other sectors as diverse as pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries, sports and tourism;

F.  whereas the European fisheries sector contributes also significantly for the preservation of the environment and to mitigate the effects of climate changes, triggering and enhancing a vast array of scientific studies that deepen our knowledge of oceanographic dynamics, ecosystems and the biology of the aquatic species directly or indirectly involved in the fisheries activity;

G.  whereas the reformed CFP should guarantee the environmental, social and economical sustainability of the fisheries sector, in the different hydrographic basins as well as in the coastal zones where this activity takes place, what will be more easily achieved through a decentralised management model bringing the decision centres closer to the activity areas and increasing the responsibility of the stakeholders;

1.  Reiterates that fishing is an important ancient activity in human communities that has always provided them with high protein and healthy nourishment, representing today an economic and social added value also contributing to food security and independence for the European Union; takes the view, therefore, that the reformed CFP needs to guarantee the maintenance of the fisheries, in its main activities - extracting, processing and marketing - in its traditional zones, and within the framework of a sustainable balance between environmental protection, social development and economic profitability;

2.  Recalls that, at the economic level, the fisheries sector is responsible for an estimated total value of landings of €8 billion, plus €3.2 billion from the aquaculture production, and plus €23 billion from the processing industry; and that, at the social level, more than 40% of the European citizens live by the coast benefiting from the multi-functionality of the fisheries activity;

3.  Stresses that the fisheries sector, and specially the small-scale fisheries, beyond its traditional three domains of activity and its more visible impact at the economic and social level, also plays a relevant role in different other domains, such as cultural, recreational and touristic, scientific, energetic, environmental, educational. The fisheries sector has a multi-functional dimension through which it provides communities with a wide variety of public goods, beneficial to the Europeans citizens in general and not only to those directly or indirectly related to fisheries, which must be acknowledged and valued;

4.  Calls the Commission to take in due account that, at the cultural level, the fisheries sector provides a wide range of benefits contributing to gastronomy, ethnography, history, literature, museology, etc. The organisation, by the fishing communities, of sea processions, seafood tasting, historic re-enactment of traditional ways of living, thematic exhibits, and other fishing festivities or associated activities constitutes an important means for carrying the cultural heritage that should be preserved;

5.  Calls the Commission to take in due account that, at the recreational and touristic level, the fisheries sector offers many different activities such as "pescaturismo", cetacean and seabird watching, ecological diving, etc. Fishermen's knowledge and daily experience (know how) about the sea and its biological resources are essential to develop these and other activities thus bringing an added value that can be shared with the society as a whole;

6.  Calls the Commission to take in due account that, at the scientific level, the fisheries sector helps the marine scientists, and others, on their research by sharing its experience, providing information, reporting on tagged animals as well as uncommon species, welcoming them on board of supervised vessels (observer activities), promoting sentinel fisheries, that favour them to collect important data on the state of the stocks and their behaviour (fish migration), but also on a variety of issues ranging from climate change (ocean streams) to pollution (warning about oil spills);

7.  Calls the Commission to take in due account that, at the energetic level, the fisheries sector may play an important role by promoting the development of new technologies that may be used later on behalf of society. The development of new engines, less pollutant and with lower consumption is a good example of energy efficiency;

8.  Calls the Commission to take in due account that, at the environmental level, the fisheries sector already plays a notorious role, safeguarding bio-sensitive geographical areas, as well as hatchery and nursery coastal areas, and also in cleaning the seas; but it can play a greater role, on the framework of decentralised management, with additional concerns about the biological protection of fish stocks and the environmental preservation of watersheds and coastal fishing;

9.  Calls the Commission to take in due account that, at the educational level, the fisheries sector develops enjoyment of the outdoors, teaching respect for the sea, navigation skills and empirical models of orientation, as well as conveying the creativity of the different arts, favouring also the appreciation for marine life;

10. Stresses that fisheries management has been increasingly based on scientific data which stimulates applied research in this area, promoting knowledge and fostering technological development and innovation, in line with Strategy 2020 in promoting smart growth;

11. Stresses that the fishing sector fully depends on the health of the stocks and on the balance of the ecosystem, so that the reform of the CFP will refocus on it as the guardian and manager of marine resources, implementing a more efficient, greener and more competitive economy, in line with Strategy 2020 in promoting sustainable growth;

12. Stresses that the fishing activity, considered in all its dimensions (including aquaculture), in its direct and indirect impacts, as well as in the production of public goods, guarantees the social and territorial cohesion, promotes the vocational training and the social and economic dynamism, in line with Strategy 2020 in promoting inclusive growth;

13. States that fishing activities play an important role within the wider context of the IMP and represent a key element in the maritime spatial planning policies as well as within the framework of the European maritime and Fisheries Fund;

14. Asks the Commission to acknowledge the multi-functionality of the fisheries activity and the value of its wide and diverse production of public goods, adopting a holistic approach to the sector, particularly on the realm of the CFP reform, rejecting reductionist perspectives damaging not only the direct and indirect benefits of the sector, but also ignoring the wider range of benefits it produces;

15. Asks the Commission to integrate in a new framework of the CFP the multifunctionality of the fisheries sector and its production of public goods, contemplating "coastal development" as its complementary part (following the alike structure and some of the terminology used at the Common Agriculture Policy);

16. Calls on the Commission together with Member States to create the necessary legal framework for activities complementary to traditional extractive activities, manufacturing and marketing of fishery products without any tax or other sort of prejudice for fishermen;

17. Asks the Commission to integrate within the reformed CFP the concept of "conditionality" already in use within the Common Agricultural Policy, ensuring a positive discrimination for environmentally friendly fishing practices such as a better access to grant funds;

18. Asks the Commission, in this crucial process of the CFP reform, to take in due account the full integration of the fisheries sector in Strategy 2020 and of its resulting contribution to the implementation of the guidelines for the European development set until 2020, recognizing the CFP as a development engine in the context of the European Growth Project, and guaranteeing the necessary conditions to develop its full potential;

19. Asks the Commission to implement the goals of Rio+20 of an open economy, also in job creation and poverty eradication, taking in due account the fact that the fisheries sector, on its own, and on the Framework of the integrated maritime policy, play an important role on this implementation;

20. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and Commission.