Fully Documented Fisheries And Observer Regime Only Way Back To Sustainable Fisheries.
Create Jobs In Fisheries Now: Invest In Future Now.
It is now clear, Ireland’s Proportionate Advantage in CFP Reform is to lead way to Fully Documented Fisheries (FDF) and the “start” can be made now in this OP. If European Fisheries are ever to recover, inevitably and ultimately CFP must go this way and better now, in current Reform round, than later. Recovery is not possible otherwise and this was clearly reported in Ireland’s mid term review of closing OP. The Commissioner, Irish Minister and MEPs should know this to be necessary and unavoidable and Ireland can help give lead across MS/OPs. My advises are of considerable support across MSs, MEPs, political groupings in EP, opinion committees and stakeholder interests.-.no longer are fishers and POs the exclusive stakeholders of CFP/Ops though the willingness and courage of those open to adopt FDFs for recovery to sustainable fisheries, coastal communities and generations to come is deserving of cross sectoral support.
But let me just illustrate simply, when it is suggested observer regimes as part of fully documented fisheries would be too expensive. There is a glut of young unemployed biologists and fishers/scientists across EU and COB (DG Env + NPWS) targets also demanding of measurement and management and so here immediately are cross-cutting opportunity and shared costs. Green economy and jobs program offers further cross cutting opportunities as does LEADER and others (FLAGs to date are under-resourced, lethargic and liable to lose momentum). To illustrate: Take Irish fisheries, worth c. Euro750m to Irish economy. Put 250 observers on largest vessels and further 200 rotating on rest (about 2000 so 1:10) all with data collection, analysis and research/trialing new techniques/gear etc., duties. Pay for these with 1% levy on catch. Consider 1% improvement in stocks (70% of which are below MSY, 3 species at ICES zero TAC for Irish Sea) per year for 10 years- very modest and more than offsetting start up costs and pain to operators. Black fish also disappear. Discards are reduced. Accurate measurement leads to efficient regulation and mgt and monitoring etc. This appears too simple to be true but it is even modest.
OP can not afford not to measure, if ever wish to manage and monitor. Try this even on the Irish Sea as template/pilot for fully documented fisheries? If not, the Irish Sea is doomed to be a single species nephrops fishery rather than restored as a flourishing mixed fishery with a multi annual/multi species plan for range of sustainable fisheries and take successful OP model across EU/Let Irish OP give lead and use EMFF flexibility to fund and transfer capital payments to achievement of FDFs there will be surprising support for some real leadership. Not doing this or postponing is to face the appalling vista reported in Ireland’s last OP mid term review. Recovery not possible without FDFs and in Irish Sea already foresightedly predicted by NWWRAC, WG4 chair of 5 years ago stakeholders still talking of same problem-in reality 30 years of decline and failed measures, over reliance on TCMs, massive data deficits, making management and monitoring impossible.
Reference Irish Sea, intimate, local information is often dismissed as anecdotal and hearsay because local stakeholders can not afford scientific surveys or lobbying trips to EU. It is not anecdotal and I need only direct your attention to mysterious cod mortality, Irish Sea and failure of CFP to even measure, never mind manage, monitor and deliver over 30 years – and it is not that great an enigma.
As to stakeholder representation, it is neither inclusive or transparent enough currently at EMFF selection, management and monitoring committee levels and if this is not adressed in this OP, flexibility and cross cutting opportunities availed of to achieve FDFs it will put stakeholders at all levels cognisant of of last OP failures and mid term review warnings on recovery in position of having to block EMFF apportionment/disbursements and report on those not attaching full documentation. FDFs, eradication of data deficits, robust selection, mgt. and monitoring and EMFF priority to achieving this inclusively and transparently is the only road to recovery and opportunity for the life of this OP. We should not miss the opportunity for a sea-change.