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Check back regularly for all the latest news and updates from iFish including industry insight, facts and figures and views of those working in the sector.

iFish, We Fish

The commercial fisheries of the EU stretch for thousands of square miles, from the inhospitable seas of the Arctic North, to the warmer and more favourable climes of the Southern Mediterranean. These communal waters harbour a plethora of commercial species of fish and shellfish, the landings of which form an integral part of the economies of 23 member countries, accounting for a colossal 4.9 million tonne catch, from a fleet of 87,500 vessels, a statistic that indicates a world ranking of 5th largest in terms of total output.

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Fishing for Fairness in Africa

The reformed Common Fisheries Policy (which came into force in January 2014) established a legal framework for EU vessels to fish outside European waters. Sustainable Fishing Partnership Agreements (SFPAs) allow EU fleets to fish in foreign waters in accordance with scientific advice for surplus stocks that would otherwise go uncaught while providing a raft of benefits to that country. The European Union fleet operating off the coast of Africa consists of around 400 vessels. This is less than one per cent of the EU fleet.

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The reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) came into force on 1st January 2014 which now includes a component on the external dimension establishing a legal framework for EU fishing activities outside the European waters. The new generation of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements (SFPAs) allows EU fleets to fish only surplus stocks in third countries’ Exclusive Economic Zones as defined by UNCLOS. The EU provides financial assistance to third countries through Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements in exchange for access rights conditional upon the partner country meeting set targets. But SFPAs are not limited to these elements; they also contribute essential financial support to boosting local fishing sectors, fishing governance, scientific research and the fight against IUU. The European fishing fleets shall respect at all times EU laws and principles in 3rd countries just as in community waters.

The new external dimension of the CFP has introduced the following principles :

• Development of scientific knowledge and advice
• Human rights clause concerning respect for democratic principles and human rights, which constitutes a crucial element of such agreements
• Promotion of sustainable fishing activities aimed at long-term resource conservation
• Support and promote actions to eradicate IUU-fishing
• Strengthen regional cooperation, good governance and sustainable development of partner countries’ fisheries sectors
• Enhance the role of RMFOs
• Financial assistance for sectoral support provided that the partner country achieve specific results (infrastructures, local development, social investment etc.)
• Joint management of stocks with 3rd countries fishing in that area
• Public ex-ante and ex-post evaluations of each protocol to a Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement

SFPA infographic NEW V6 medium

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New Research Highlights Belief Industry is Vital to Feeding Growing World Population

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Appointment of new Managing Director signals fresh drive to communicate the modern face of the sector to the public and policymakers

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Who Really Turned The Tide?

Statement from Javier Garat, President of Europêche, in response to the Pew Foundation’s ‘Turning The Tide’ Report.

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