Recreational fisheries in the EU: Time to get a grip on the topic

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Regulation on recreational fisheries activities falls primarily within the competence of Member States. However, sufficient data from Member States about the significance of recreational catches and to what extend this interferes with commercial fishing is still lacking. That is why our MEP Norica Nicolai has taken up the task to open up a long-standing discussion on how recreational and professional fishing activities should be regulated both at EU and national level in order to ensure a sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources.

“I worked on this report because I consider we have to start evaluating the impact of recreational fishing in our society, in our economy, as well as on the fish stocks. Unfortunately, we do not have a clear definition of this activity, which makes it difficult to understand and separate to begin with. Moreover, this activity is primarily regulated by Member States. However, considering that recreational fishing, and especially maritime recreational fishing, is targeting stocks that are under EU management, we need to find a middle ground for the future.”

Norica Nicolai proposes a threefold approach to get a grip on the topic:

“First, we need a common and clear definition of what recreational and professional fishing implies. Secondly, we need Member States and the Commission to gather data on this topic, so that we will have a sufficient overview and a thorough impact assessment. Thirdly, based on the assessment, we can decide if and to what extend recreational fishing should be included in a future Common Fisheries Policy. Because overall, our main goal is a sustainable and futureproof EU fishing sector.”

More info: birte.grages@

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