Conference full programme: http://ee-gue.spade/news/article/events/defence-and-protection-of-small-scale-artisanal-and-coastal-fishing

GUE/NGL MEP Lidia Senra said that the conference will be an opportunity to think critically about serious policy alternatives alongside the people whose livelihoods depend on the sea:

“The conference will bring together an interesting mosaic of international experiences that will provide first-hand information on the situation of sustainable, artisanal and small-scale fishing in the EU, while providing enriching exchanges between members of fishing communities in the different member states.”

Around 20 Galician fishermen will attend the conference in addition to representatives of fishing communities in Guinée-Bissau and Mauritius.

“As a leftist group we consider essential to analyse the impact of EU partnership agreements on artisanal fishing in third countries,” Senra continued. “We count on representatives from fishing communities in these countries to help us define our position on the basis of solidarity and respect for livelihoods and food sovereignty.”

The Galician MEP noted that it is necessary to maintain pressure on the European institutions to force them to implement real measures to defend and preserve the fishing industry:

“We need measures in particular to support and protect artisanal fishing that are pillars for jobs and the economy in coastal regions.” The fishing sector represents nearly 7% of GDP in Galicia and 80% of the fleet is dedicated to artisanal and small-scale fishing.

GUE/NGL MEP João Ferreira pointed at the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) for exacerbating the challenges faced by small-scale and artisanal fishery:

“The last CFP reform did not answer the main problems the fisheries sector is facing. Well on the contrary: it created the conditions for an even bigger deterioration of the situation in this sector, especially with regard to small-scale and artisanal fisheries.”

The Portuguese MEP continued: “A deep change is needed in order to ensure the economic, social and environmental development of European – as well as of developing countries – fisheries and fleets. That change will come with the involvement of the sector organisations and the coastal communities. With this initiative we aim to gather forces for the struggle that goes on.”

GUE/NGL MEP Liadh Ní Riada expressed her commitment for the prosperity of the sector: 

“Coming from Ireland, a sea-faring and fishing nation, and being its representative on the European Parliament´s fisheries committee, I have endeavoured and strive to be a proactive voice for fishermen.”

The Irish MEP explained more about the format of the conference and its purpose:

“This conference is about small-scale fishermen and stakeholders having their say and sharing their knowledge and experience on fisheries policy and their respective fields.”

“We have arranged for discussion sessions to be open to the floor following each panel discussion. These will look at aspects such as workers' rights and safety at sea, the impact of the CFP on coastal communities, the role of women in fisheries, and international fishing partnership agreements with third-world countries and the impact on their indigenous small-scale fishermen.

“There will be a host of international guests participating from our respective countries and beyond, along with representatives from NGOs such as Greenpeace.”

Conference full programme: http://ee-gue.spade/news/article/events/defence-and-protection-of-small-scale-artisanal-and-coastal-fishing

GUE/NGL Press Contact:

Ziyad Lunat  +32 228 304 70 /  +32 499 63 23 14

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