As a fisheries scientists and coordinator of the GAP2 project, Steve Macksinson comments on the latest developments in the Common Fisheries Policy reform process, following the MEP’s plenary vote on 6th February.
- Much negotiation between the European Council and Parliament still needs to take place, to establish the responsibilities and decision making structures that will make the CFP work in practice.
- Even though compromises will be made in the continued negotiations, MEPs majority support for the reform package means that industry stakeholders, scientists, NGOs and policy makers all have a clear and strong remit for developing plans that make the CFP work in practice.
- The vote’s outcome is good news for strengthening collaboration among fisheries stakeholders and scientists; the Advisory Councils and new Regional Working Groups supported by the vote will empower collaborative working.
- Support for a discard ban is an obvious area where industry-science collaborative projects are likely to promote the innovations necessary to tackle this complex problem. Lots of great work has already been done on this front, but now the incentive has become a necessity. Developing strong joint problem-solving partnerships will build trust that will spill over to other areas of industry-science collaboration.
- Building on previous initiatives like the workshop on regionalisation in the North Sea, GAP2 will continue its work on promoting the practical dialogue among stakeholders, scientists and policy makers that can help establish fit-for-purpose regional multi-annual fishery plans.
To find out more about the CFP reform process, visit the CFP-reformwatch website, where you can read more about the MEP’s plenary vote on the basic regulation and view documents and timetables purporting to the CFP reform.