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News|29 Jul, 2011

Unprecedented Alliance calls on Poland to lead ambitious reform of Europe’s Fisheries Policy

Baltic members & supporters of the WWF / Industry Alliance for CFP reform meet at a seminar in Gdynia on 27 July 2011

Gdynia – Baltic businesses and conservationists gathered at a seminar today calling on Poland to lead progress on an ambitious reform of Europe’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Following the release of the CFP reform proposal by the European Commission on July 13, the meeting stressed the opportunity before the Polish Presidency of the European Union to move Europe away from annual quota negotiations and set European fisheries on a stable track towards rapid recovery. 

At the international seminar held under the patronage of the Polish Presidency of the European Union, representatives of industry, governments from Baltic countries, the European Commission and Parliament, the Baltic Sea Regional Advisory Council, as well as scientists, fishermen and NGOs discussed the opportunity for the Baltic Sea to serve as a model for Europe’s future fisheries management.

The meeting showcased the positive outcomes of fisheries management in the Baltic region including the Baltic Cod management plan, which has systematically followed scientific advice since entering into force in 2007. Also in 2007, all Baltic EU member states jointly committed themselves to combatting illegal fishing, working towards a culture of compliance and improving control and enforcement.  These two examples were highlighted as critical steps leading to the recovery of Baltic Cod. They demonstrate the need of setting clear and binding targets through long-term management plans and the importance of including such plans in the reformed CFP.

Baltic representatives of the ‘WWF / Industry Alliance for CFP reform’ [1] emphasised the need for the CFP reform to make ecosystem based long-term management plans mandatory for all EU fisheries by 2015, introduce effective regionalisation, maximise the value from catch to consumer and ensure that the CFP principles apply to all fisheries in EU waters and beyond.

WWF and its industry allies believe that this is a once in a decade opportunity to set right what the CFP has failed to deliver to date – sustainable fisheries. With 3 out of 4 assessed fish stocks in Europe overfished, a fleet which continues to be 2 to 3 times too large to be sustainable, and a 30% fall in landings at EU ports between 1998 and 2008, an ambitious CFP reform is needed to ensure fish stocks recover and Europe’s fisheries return to prosperity.  Without fish there is no future for fishermen, fishing communities or fishing industries.

During the meeting Leszek Dybiec, Adviser to the Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said:

“The Polish presidency strongly supports dialogue between all interested parties on the CFP reform as a vital contribution to the discussion on the package that has just been initiated in July. We are devoted to advance discussions on reform as far as possilbe in the 2nd half of 2011 so as to faciliate the entry into force of the needed renewed CFP by 2013.

WWF’s Fisheries Policy Officer, Ewa Milewska said:

“In the trinity of social, economic and environmental sustainability, the environment must take centre stage when reforming the CFP. Without healthy seas to support abundant fish populations there will be no fishing or fishing industry. Only a fundamental reform will guarantee Europe’s consumers a rich variety of responsibly and locally caught fish in the future”.

Alex Olsen, Espersen, representing AIPCE-CEP said:

“Sustainable fish stocks are crucial for us as processors and traders. Without fish no trade nor production. Therefore, we do have an urgent need for long term management plans for all fish stocks and a more decentralised management systems as tools to bring all European fish stocks to MSY [2]  levels before 2015”.

Jean Bos, representing Euro-Toques Poland said:

“Euro-Toques’ chefs are looking for high quality, sustainably caught, fresh local fish: this is why an ambitious reform of the CFP in terms of long-term fisheries management and effective regionalization is essential to ensure the sustainability of stocks”.

Per Baummann, representing EuroCoop and Eurocommerce said:

“It is not possible to negotiate with Nature. Consumers expect that all goods they find in supermarkets are safeguarded by the companies providing them and that the sourcing of these goods should not threaten our common future”.


[1] The WWF / Industry Alliance for CFP reform are:

  • WWF – one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations, with almost 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries (
  • AIPCE-CEP – the EU Fish Processors and Traders Association representing 130.000 employees, 4.000 enterprises and a production value of around €20 billion (
  • EuroCommerce – representing the retail, wholesale and international trade sectors in Europe, with members in 31 countries (
  • Euro Coop – the European Community of Consumer Co-operatives, with 3200 local and regional co-operatives in 17 European countries representing more than 29 million consumers across Europe (
  • Euro-Toques International – the European Community of Cooks, a pan-European organisation established in 1986 and representing over 2,000 chefs and cooks, with national branches in 17 European countries (

[2] Maximum Sustainable Yield or MSY: the largest yield (or catch) that can be taken from a fish species in order to guarantee its survival.

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