Following this week’s European Council, European fishing industry representatives have called on Michel Barnier and the heads of State and Governments to remain firm on the position defined in the negotiation mandate.
‘European leaders sent a strong signal today that the European Union will continue to stand up for its fishermen, their fleets and their communities. The current access rules and shares of fishing opportunities reflect the reality of centuries of shared fishing grounds. They are a natural basis for as long-term, mutually beneficial agreement,’ European Fisheries Alliance Chairman Gerard van Balsfoort.
‘Over the past decades, we have, together with British colleagues, built a fragile equilibrium preserving both the sustainability of fish stocks and the livelihoods of fishermen. Make no mistake, any upset to that balance will have very real consequences for fish stocks and fishermen in both the EU and the UK.’
EUFA’s position is that the current fisheries management framework is a fragile equilibrium between the sustainable management of fish stocks and the economic prosperity of all fleets in the area.
It points out that the UK has contributed to shaping this system since its accession to the EU close to fifty years ago.
‘We should build on our common achievements and look past short-sighted political considerations to build a stable, long-term mutually beneficial relationship. A long term agreement based on current access and quota sharing conditions should form the core elements of any future deal,’ EUFA states.
‘The European Fisheries industry appreciates the strong message to that effect sent by the European Council today. While we remain concerned about the future of thousands of livelihoods across the continent, EUFA believes that an agreement that reflects the reality on the ground can still be found.’