News From the Deck – April
NEWS FROM THE DECK
The monthly newsletter of the Low Impact Small-Scale Fishers of Europe
MAIN EVENTS OF THE MONTH
Meeting with stakeholders of the Northern Seas in Denmark
LIFE and representatives of two member organizations, FSK. Foreningen for Skånsomt Kystfiskeri and NUTFA, attended the two days event “Slow Fish of the Northern Seas” that took place in Denmark from the 8th to 10th of April. The meeting, organized by Slow Fish and hosted by the fishing community of Thorupstrand, has been the occasion to visit their landing site and processing facilities, to exchange best practices and to carry out a multi-disciplinary reflection among fishermen, producers, researchers and not-for profits on several topics of particular relevance for the Northern Seas, including aquaculture, community-led initiatives, market space and resource management.
The gathering has been the starting point for a broader collective work of networking and engagement that will be developed in the months to come with fishing communities and stakeholders in the framework of the event Terra Madre which will be held in Turin in September 2016.
LIFE becomes member of the Mediterranean Advisory Council
LIFE’s application to become an official member of the MedAC. The MedAC is the committee bringing together European and national organizations representing the fisheries and NGO sectors, providing the Commission and EU countries with recommendations on fisheries management matters. With this seat the low impact fishers of the Med countries will be better able to get their voice heard at the decision-making process level and to influence the policies that define the management of the sector in the Region.
LIFE invited by the European Commission at the launch of the new Mediterranean Strategy
On the 27th LIFE attended the launch of the new Mediterranean strategy by Commissioner Karmenu Vella at Europe’s biggest industry event, the Seafood Global Expo in Brussels. The Mediterranean Sea still laments declining fisheries despite the conservation efforts of both regulators and fishermen. For this reason, the European Commission, concerned with what this could mean for thousands of fishermen, has decided to focus its next political campaign on the Region.
Christian Decugis, LIFE Director for the Med, was interviewed by the official journalists of the event and recalled the vital role played by SSCFs, their historical commitment to sustainable fishing practices and the need for a more inclusive decision-making process !
OTHER NEWS FROM AROUND THE EU
- LIFE attended the event opened by EU Commissioner Karmenu Vella “Delivering Innovation in the Blue Economy: Launch of the Blue Growth calls under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund” held in Brussels on the 5th. The event focused on new calls for proposal making € 7,5 Million available for investments. It was an occasion for LIFE to look at new funding opportunities for its members, to establish new contacts with potential partners at local and regional level and to call for greater attention to be paid to artisanal fisheries within the framework of Blue Growth.
- On the 18th LIFE’s Executive Director Jeremy Percy was interviewed by BBC Radio to discuss the current situation for the UK small-scale fleet within the context of local elections and the UK’s forthcoming referendum on EU membership and to explain the latest developments in terms of national and European management policies and how these will affect the UK and European artisanal fleet in the near future.
- That same day, LIFE Coordinator, Laura Calinoiu was an invited member of the jury for the gastronomic contest organized by SeaWeb with Chef Olivier Roellinger (French 3* Michelin) held in Paris (France). The contest, aimed at raising awareness among young chefs on the preservation of marine resources and the use of fresh and sustainable fish, was attended by various stakeholders, including fishmongers, chefs, NGOs, scientists, and EU institution representatives. Two days after, another phase of the competition took place in Somonino, Poland, and two representatives of LIFE member association Srodkowopomorska attended as member of the jury.
- LIFE Executive Director, on the 19th had a virtual meeting with academic researchers investigating changes in fisheries management within a devolved administration context.
- On the 19th the PECH Committee of the European Parliament organized the hearing «Mediterranean Sea: state of the fishing stock and strategies to adopt for the conservation and socio-economic situation of the fisheries sector». During most of the event, a number of speakers, MEPs and stakeholders recognized the importance of the artisanal fleet for coastal communities. LIFE staff have been satisfied by the growing recognition within the sector of the importance and value of small-scale fisheries and by the interest shown by the Commission and European Parliament in LIFE as the platform representing the voice of small-scale fishers.
- 21st – Discard Action Group – London. The Executive Director, together with the Chairman of NUTFA, attended the Seafish facilitated Discard Action Group to contribute to the debate regarding the evolution of the landings obligation and its possible outcomes.
- LIFE meets Asia: on the 26th LIFE met with a Japanese delegation of social entrepreneurs that are restoring the area of Tohoku after the tsunami. The meeting was an opportunity to present LIFE as a model of a European platform, to exchange best practices and to explain the strategies carried out to engage on community building, fisheries and gastronomy.
- In parallel with the Japanese meeting, LIFE’s Executive Director, along with Greenpeace’s senior Oceans Campaigner met with Baroness Bryony Worthington (European director of the Environmental Defense Fund) in the House of Lords in London. The Director raised ongoing concerns regarding EDF’s rights based management [catch shares] approach that has been shown to do significant damage to the fabric and socio economic sustainability of many coastal communities.
- The meeting above was followed up on the 28th with a virtual meeting with the New Economics Foundation who are also working on issues in relation to the threats posed by a specifically rights based management approach.
- On 28th the Executive Director also met with Succourfish, a leading UK based technical company specialising in Inshore vessel monitoring systems, data collection and catch reporting hard and software. LIFE is actively pursuing and promoting improvements in these areas for the benefit of members and the wider fleet across Europe.
- 29th The Executive Director had a virtual meeting on leadership values with respect to coastal fishery representation with academic researchers.
- That same day he met with Young’s Seafood to discuss a more collective approach towards developments related to improved selectivity of fishing gears and reducing discards in line with European requirements.
NEWS FROM OUR MEMBERS
- NetVISwerk elects a new Chairperson
The organization of Dutch and Belgian small scale coastal and inland fishers NetVISwerk has chosen a new chairperson: Albert Jan Maat. He has been chairman of the National Farmers Union and served in the European Parliament as rapporteur for the Eel Management Plan. With Albert Jan on board, NetVISwerk will increase its National and European network and will work closely with the Dutch Farmers Union in Brussels. The two Dutch organisations are already cooperating on the issue of listing European Invasive Alien Species and the Farmers Union is very much willing to team-up with LIFE in supporting small scale fishers in Europe.
- The French Platform makes noise in the press
On the 12th of April the French Platform PPPAF (Plateforme de la Petite Pêche Artisanale Française) issued a press release to voice their concerns about how fisheries are managed in France. The article, published on the specialist French newspaper Le Marin ( http://goo.gl/G3nsWm ) , highlights the administrative burden to practice the profession and the opaque allocation of quota and management mechanisms of POs. The PPPAF is not asking for a total exemption of small-scale fishing, just for appropriate management measures.
WELCOME ON BOARD!
In addition to the members who joined since the beginning of 2016, the following organisations officially became part of LIFE this month:
Union des Communautés des Prud’hommes Pêcheurs Méditerranéens (UCPPM – France)
Fishing Prud’homies are communities of artisanal fishers who were born on the Mediterranean Coast of France back in the Middle Ages and that in time developed autonomous systems of regulation and management of local fisheries. UCPPM, created in 2015, is the official association representing the voice of 300 Prud’hommes fishers (for 250 under 10 meters’ boats) and among its objectives are the promotion sustainable fishing practices and developing policies which are more appropriate for the local fleet and coastal environment. Welcome to LIFE!
Asociación para la defensa de la pesca artesanal del Mediterráneo (ADPAM – Spain)
ADPAM is an association created in 2008 to represent the artisanal fishing communities of Spain, with a special focus on the Province of Castellὸn and Catalunya, on the Mediterranean Coast. Today it represents 40 fishers (for 40 boats) and has among its priorities the development of European policies that can ensure a sustainable management of Mediterranean stocks. LIFE is delighted to welcome ADPAM as an active member from the Med Region!
This newsletter is a simple snapshot of our external activities. In addition, the LIFE staff in the UK, Brussels and Spain respond to a vast range of queries related to our sector and continuously develop and promulgate policies related to small scale, low impact fishing and fisheries.
Our Regional Directors, all working small scale fishers also promote the values and benefits of coastal fishing.
Would you like some additional information on a specific event, project or initiative? Don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org , or follow us on Facebook ( Low Impact Fishers of Europe ) or on Twitter (@LIFEplatformEU )