Speaking at a stakeholder event held in Brussels last week, representatives of European Association of fish Producers Organisations (EAPO) said that the CFP urgently needs fixing if the recovery of fish stocks across Europe is to be due to better management rather than because of the disappearance of European fishermen.
According to EAPO, there are elements that are not in line with the CFP’s objectives and the removal of structural barriers for decarbonisation of the European fishing fleets are needed as part of a thorough overhaul.
EAPO president Esben Sverdrup-Jensen contributed to the panel on social, economic and environmental sustainability relating the ongoing crisis, while strengthening fishing operators’ resilience for the years to come.
He drew attention to the complexity and the need for today’s fishermen to have a degree in law to understand the CFP, and pointed out issues with the CFP that threaten the stability fishing businesses need to thrive, notably Article 15 (the Landing Obligation) and the choke species, understanding the hierarchy behind the different CFP objectives, and capacity constraint limiting the adaptation of the fleet to the new fuels and the improvement of on board working conditions.
He added that the recent crisis and the lack of flexibility of the CFP restricts the generational renewal, even limiting the retention of the existing crews, attracted to emerging industries such as the windfarm sector.