MEPs underline importance of RecFish Forum
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Representatives of the European Anglers Alliance (EAA) and the UK’s Angling Trust attended the European Parliament in Strasbourg for the relaunch of the Forum on Recreational Fishing and the Aquatic Environment (RecFish Forum).
The Trust’s Head of Marine, David Mitchell, met the new EU Commissioner and a number of MEPs from different parties, including Chris Davies, Chairman of the Parliament’s influential Fisheries Committee.
He raised a number issues including proposals for recreational fishing in EU legislation and the outcome for sharks at the recent International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICAAT) meeting. He also highlighted the importance of shark fishing in South West England and Wales.
Representatives from the EAA were joined by colleagues from the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association (EFTTA) and members of the European Parliament.
As Chair of the event, German MEP, Niclas Herbst, underlined the importance of the RecFish Forum. “I am convinced that the discussions we have in the meetings matter a lot for us as MEPs, to regularly check with stakeholders and people that the policies we adopt are practicable and fit for purpose,” he said.
Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, stressed that ‘data is gold’ when it comes to decision making. “We need more data on the recreational fisheries sector to make sure that our decisions are based on scientific evidence,” he added.
EAA President, Fred Bloot, pointed out the contribution made by recreational fishing to health and social and cultural well-being.
“Together we can make better policies in Europe in the area of fisheries and environment,” he added, highlighting the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and the Water Framework Directive (WFD) as two key legislations to work on.