The EESC agrees with the proposal's general and specific objectives, as well as its principles of good governance. The CFP must ensure that fishing and aquaculture activities create long-term sustainable environmental, economic and social conditions, contributing to the availability of food supplies, implementing the precautionary and ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management, aimed at exploitation of living marine biological resources that restores and maintains fish resources above levels which can produce the maximum sustainable yield, not later than 2015, all while meeting the requirements of EU environmental legislation. In order to achieve these objectives, the CFP must, in particular, eliminate unwanted catches of commercial stocks and gradually ensure that all catches of such stocks are landed.
Fisheries and aquaculture
The Committee welcomes the intention to radically reform the European Common Fisheries Policy (ECP) and in particular its objective to establish a de-centralised policy, less dependent on detailed decisions taken in Brussels and allowing more opportunity for local and regional involvement in fisheries management. However, the essential detail, clarity and sanctions regime needed for such a policy to work effectively is missing and needs to be included.
Commissioner Karmenu Vella presented his green-blue portfolio at the meeting of the NAT Section on 6 February.
Islands have special characteristics and therefore face particular problems. However, their very specific situation can also offer opportunities if, with the necessary effort from all parties concerned, policies are developed and implemented which create sustainable growth and, at the same time, job opportunities for the young generation, competiveness and innovation, whilst respecting the environment and cultural heritage. This conference is foreseen in the Smart Islands project, and is aimed at showcasing and discussing best practices to help islands develop in a sustainable and "smart" manner.
The EESC "Smart Islands" project is based on the own-initiative of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on Smart islands TEN/558.