Seafish weighs in on CFP reform

July 12, 2011 11:12

Philip MacMullen, head of environment for Seafish (the United Kingdom's Sea Fish Industry Authority), on Monday weighed in on reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), two days before European Union Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki is due to officially present her much-anticipated proposals for CFP reform, reports with reference to SeafoodSource.

CFP reform must create a "real opportunity for positive change" in fisheries management, as long as it allows for flexibility within its provisions, said MacMullen.

"We welcome proposals that could result in the CFP delivering better on its basic commitments to economic, social and environmental sustainability. We simply must have better long-term management of our fish stocks and the wider marine environment, and we believe that the industry as a whole must be given a major role in helping to achieve this," he said.

MacMullen pointed to discards as an example of how a "one size fits all" approach to fisheries management does not work under the existing CFP.

"We believe that the CFP reform should concentrate on high level goals and not be over prescriptive with solutions. We advocate management responsibilities being inclusive, encouraging fishermen to propose their own ideas and become custodians of the sea," he said.

"It is certainly reassuring that most of us now are talking the same language. We all want better data on how we impact the marine environment; more transparency and flexibility in decision-making; and an agreed balance between those impacts and conservation. We need to consider our future food security very carefully," added MacMullen.

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