Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Maria Damanaki. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Maria Damanaki. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Τρίτη, 14 Οκτωβρίου 2014

Illegal fisheries: green cards for five countries, but red card for Sri Lanka. (EC -14.10.14)

European Commission, Press release, Brussels, 14 October 2014:

In its fight against illegal fishing activities worldwide, the European Commission has today proposed to ban imports of fisheries products from Sri Lanka to tackle the commercial benefits stemming from illegal fishing. The move comes after four years of intense dialogue with the country after which it could not demonstrate that it sufficiently addressed illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. In contrast, the Commission today confirmed that Belize, Fiji, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu, which had received warnings at the same time as Sri Lanka, have successfully taken measures to tackle illegal fishing. Consequently, the Commission proposes to lift the trade measures imposed in March this year against Belize.

European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, said: "Our policy of resolute cooperation is yielding results. Five countries receive today our appreciation for getting serious on illegal fishing. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for Sri Lanka. I hope that the message we are sending today will be a wake-up call for this country."

Sri Lanka needs to address illegal fishing
According to the Commission's assessment, Sri Lanka has not sufficiently addressed the shortcomings in its fisheries control system identified in November 2012. The main weaknesses include shortcomings in the implementation of control measures, a lack of deterrent sanctions for the high seas fleet, as well as lacking compliance with international and regional fisheries rules.
As a result, the Commission tables a ban on fisheries products caught by Sri Lankan vessels being imported into the EU. In order to avoid disrupting ongoing commercial contracts, the full trade measures will only come into force in mid-January 2015, which is three months after the decision is published in the EU's Official Journal. 

Progress confirmed for Belize, Fiji, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu
The Commission has today also proposed to remove Belize from the list of non-cooperating third countries in the fight against illegal fishing and to end the trade measures imposed against the country in March 2014. Belize has demonstrated its commitment to reforming its legal framework and adopting a new set of rules for inspection, control and monitoring of vessel. The Council will take a decision in this respect.
In a similar vein, the Commission also announced the termination of steps against Belize, Fiji, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu who all received a formal warning in November 2012. The countries have taken concrete measures in addressing established shortcomings and shown commitment to complete structural reforms in order to address illegal fishing.
The Commission has prolonged the cooperation with Korea, Curacao and Ghana until January 2015. Despite some progress achieved in these countries, which have received formal warnings in November 2013, more time is needed in these countries to make changes.
Commissioner Damanaki said: "The improvements Belize made as regards its fisheries control system since its 'red card' show that the EU's fight against illegal fishing works. The formalised cooperation with the EU has helped the country to move towards sustainable fisheries. The same goes for Fiji, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu. These countries' positive attitude should serve as a template to other countries in similar situations."
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-1132_en.htm?locale=en
14/10/14
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Κυριακή, 5 Οκτωβρίου 2014

THE TIME TO INVEST IN OCEAN ENERGY IS NOW

(Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries)

" It has become clear over the past years that our seas and oceans can generate huge economic growth and create jobs, much needed in these times. That is why we have been working for the past five years on our Blue Growth strategy to foster sustainable blue economy. Ocean energy is part of this strategy. It is a very promising sector, capable to exploit an indigenous, predictable, safe source of clean energy.

Earlier this year, in April, we launched an Action plan on blue energy. Part of it is the creation of the Ocean Energy Forum, gathering all stakeholders to cooperate and elaborate the further development of the sector.

This Wednesday I was proud to take part in the very first high-level meeting of this Ocean Energy Forum. Together with EU Ministers and stakeholders we discussed the ways of overcoming the challenges of ocean energy but also the progress made.

I am convinced the time is now.

I told the stakeholders I met on Wednesday to “get ready”. We have set up a good basis for ocean energy, very much appreciated after the Ukrainian conflict. It is clear that renewable energy is the future the EU wants to invest in. There is an open door for blue energy to become an EU success story."
Maria Damanaki's blog  
http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/damanaki/3/10/14
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Σάββατο, 27 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014

TACKLING THE SKILLS GAP IN BLUE CAREERS

(Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries)
 - One of the paradoxes of our time is that, while half of our young people are unemployed in the EU, the blue industry has difficulties to find people with the appropriate skills. We know for example that there is a shortage of qualified workers for the growing sector of offshore wind industry.

Considering that the EU needs to be at the forefront of Blue innovation and should not risk being overtaken by competitors, we need to concretely address this skills gap.


But how? Well, by bridging the gap between the education sector and stakeholders of the labour market.

All stakeholders, industry, researchers, training institutes and universities should closely cooperate and map the skills needed by the sector. Like this, industry and academia can design together training programmes which would help better match the competences needed with the requirements of the blue labour market.

Blue economy features a wide range of professions, from shipbuilding to tourism, aquaculture and offshore energy, all of which require diverse qualifications and skills. This is why the EU is working towards addressing the skills gap in these sectors. It is part of the Communication which I tabled earlier in June in order to contribute to stimulating Blue innovation, while fostering growth and creating jobs.

Maria Damanaki's blog
http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/damanaki/tackling-the-skills-gap-in-blue-careers/
26/9/14
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Δευτέρα, 8 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014

EU mulls over supportive measures on fisheries sector to combat Russian trade ban

The European Union (EU) has planned to provide financial support to fisheries sector, together with a proposal of shifting unused fishing quotas to 2015 to counter Russian trade ban, an EU official said on Monday.

According to a letter, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki reassured the Council and the European Parliament that the European Commission stands ready to support the European fisheries sector.


Damanaki called upon the EU governments concerned by the ban to make use "as quickly as possible" of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), which can provide financial help to producer organisations who are unable to sell their products to Russia.

This aid enables them to store the unsold products until new markets have been found. She underlined that no approval by the European Commission is necessary to unlock these storage funds.

Damanaki also pointed to flexibility rules which allow Member States to carry over up to 10 percent of their fishing quotas to the following year. According to the letter, she has instructed her services to examine the possibility of going beyond the 10 percent quota flexibility.

Russia imposed imports ban of certain fisheries products from the EU on August 7, composing one part of the EU and Ukraine trade war due to Ukraine crisis.

Russia is the EU's 6th export market for fisheries products. In 2013, EU exports of fisheries products to Russia represented 5 percent, or 199 million euros, of total EU fisheries exports. In 2013, fisheries products represented 0.2 percent of the EU's overall exports to Russia.

The EU is due to announce its new sanctions on Russia later Monday, the European Commission said on Monday, although a ceasefire is generally taking hold in eastern Ukraine.

Responding to EU's upcoming tighter sanctions, Russian Foreign Ministry said last week that reactions will certainly be made by Russia if they are implemented.

Sources: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
8/9/14
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***Russian trade ban: Commissioner Damanaki ready to support EU fisheries sector with financial help, quota flexibility
European Commission
Press release
Brussels, 8 September 2014

In the light of Russia’s trade ban on certain fisheries products which hit the European fisheries sector this summer, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, has today reassured the Council and the European Parliament that the European Commission stands ready to support the European fisheries sector. In a letter addressed to Italian Minister Maurizio Martina and the Chair of the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee, Alain Cadec, Commissioner Damanaki outlined that the EU can provide financial support to the sector as well as the possibility of shifting unused fishing quotas to 2015.
In her letter, Commissioner Damanaki called upon the EU governments concerned by the ban to make use “as quickly as possible” of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), which can provide financial help to producer organisations who are unable to sell their products to Russia. This aid enables them to store the unsold products until new markets have been found. She underlined that no approval by the European Commission is necessary to unlock these storage funds.
Commissioner Damanaki also pointed to flexibility rules which allow Member States to carry over up to 10% of their fishing quotas to the following year. She underlined that, given the current circumstances, she has instructed her services to examine the possibility go beyond the 10% quota flexibility. The Commissioner said that she could take a positive stance on this option, under the condition that scientific examination confirms that such a proposal would not undermine long term sustainability.
Background
Following Russia’s announcement on 7 August to ban imports of certain fisheries products from the European Union, the European Commission is working closely with Member States authorities to gather evidence on the impact of the Russian trade measures in the fisheries sector and to outline the available support to the sectors affected by the ban. The fisheries products affected by the ban are live, fresh, chilled, frozen, salted, in brine and smoked fish, molluscs and crustaceans. The main Member States exporting these products to Russia in 2013 were Denmark, Latvia, UK, Ireland, Estonia, Spain and France.
In 2013, the total export value of the banned EU fisheries products was close to EUR 144 million, which represents 2% of total value of the EU's fish and aquaculture annual product.
Russia is the EU's 6th export market for fisheries products. In 2013, EU exports of fisheries products to Russia represented 5%, or EUR 199 million, of total EU fisheries exports. In 2013, fisheries products represented 0.2% of the EU’s overall exports to Russia.....................http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-980_en.htm?locale=en
8/9/14

Τετάρτη, 25 Ιουνίου 2014

OCEAN HEALTH: LET´S SEIZE THIS INTERNATIONAL MOMENTUM

.....Just last week, President Obama announced the US commitment to fight illegal fishing and to establish a marine protected area in the Pacific. 

This week, I am in New York for the launch of the “Global Ocean Commission” (GOC) report on global ocean governance and we’ll continue the discussion on 30 June in Brussels. 


There is more talk in the media and the international community about protecting our oceans. From an EU perspective, I can only applaud these initiatives: we have been at the forefront to fight for ocean health in the last years. To get serious on global ocean governance, we need more of that...................Maria Damanaki's blog - European Commission

Τετάρτη, 11 Ιουνίου 2014

EU warns Philippines, Papua New Guinea over illegal fishing

The European Commission on Tuesday warned the Philippines and Papua New Guinea over insufficient action to fight illegal fishing, threatening them with further trade sanctions, according to an EU statement.

Both countries identified as non-cooperative in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, are being given a yellow card warning and a reasonable time to respond and take measures to rectify the situation.


European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki said, "If half of the Western Pacific's tuna is exported to the EU, we cannot ignore illegal fishing activities in this region."

She urged the Philippines and Papua New Guinea to fight the practice "which puts the livelihoods of fishermen at risk", adding that "in the end, sustainability of fisheries in the Pacific Ocean means sustainability here in Europe, on our plates."

The Commission has also proposed an action plan for each country to address the shortcomings, such as lack of system of sanctions to deter IUU activities or lack of actions to address deficiencies in monitoring, controlling and surveillance of fisheries.

The countries need to amend their legal framework to combat IUU fishing, improve control and monitoring actions and take a proactive role in complying with international law rules, the statement said.

Should the situation not improve within six months, the EU could take further steps, which could entail trade sanctions on fisheries imports.

The decision is based on the EU's IUU Regulation, which entered into force in 2010, aiming at allowing access to the EU market only to fisheries products that have been certified as legal by the flag State concerned. 

Sources: Xinhua -  globaltimes.cn
11/6/14
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Παρασκευή, 23 Μαΐου 2014

BLUEFIN TUNA: THE LONG PATH OF RECOVERY

Bluefin Tuna is an emblematic species, fished and appreciated all across the globe. But when I took office four years ago, the state of the stocks was extremely alarming. We were exporting and eating more bluefin tuna than we were expected to catch!

In 2012 we managed to take action at global level: we implemented, within the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), a very strict recovery plan based on advice by scientists.

Quotas have been reduced, our fleet has become smaller and the fishing period has been shortened – this year, it will start next Monday 26 May and already close a month later, on 24 June.

The rules are there, but work remains to be done. We will only be able to preserve bluefin tuna if all actors play by the rules and put the priority on controls. 


The European Commission, the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) and Member States dedicate tremendous resources to enforce the rules. For the 2014 season, we will deploy sea and air patrols to control that the fishing season and quotas are respected. We will monitor catches and inspect caging operations in tuna farms and, if required, take the necessary action to avoid overfishing.

Today we can already see first signs that efforts are paying off. The situation is very different from 2010 when the stock was close to extinction. I am confident that we are on the right path – the path to recovery.

23/5/14 

Σάββατο, 17 Μαΐου 2014

NO MORE DRIFTNETS IN OUR WATERS

Driftnet fishing – with vertical nets – is an irresponsible practice. It is a non-selective fishery which leads to non-targeted catches. It threatens marine wildlife and species which are protected under EU legislation. Tolerating this practice comes in contradiction with our newly reformed Common Fisheries Policy.

One of the core principles of our Reform is to reduce the pressure of fishing activities on marine ecosystems. This is a key value that we promote also in our international agreements. It is important that we remain coherent and ensure such prohibited and destructive practices are not taking place in the EU anymore. We need to lead by example on sustainability.



This is why, after extensive consultations, I proposed this week a ban on the use of driftnets in European waters. 


  • Why a total ban? Because up to now, there were numerous exemptions in the existing prohibition, generating loopholes. Only a total ban will leave no room for ambivalent interpretation.

This was the last missing piece of the puzzle of our reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. I hope that we can complete this puzzle by the end of this year and have no more driftnets in our waters by January 2015.

16/5/14
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Τετάρτη, 14 Μαΐου 2014

Fisheries: European Commission proposes full ban on driftnets

The European Commission wants to prohibit the use of any kind of driftnets for fishing in all EU waters as of 1 January 2015. Although rules are already in place to forbid using driftnets to catch certain migratory fishes, the practice continues to be a cause of concern due to the incidental catching of marine mammals, sea turtles and sea birds which are mostly protected under EU legislation. To fight circumvention, the Commission proposal includes a full ban of driftnets fishing in the EU as well as the prohibition of keeping driftnets on board of fishing vessels. Furthermore, to avoid ambiguity, the proposal refines the current definition of a driftnet.

European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, said: "Fishing with driftnets destroys marine habitats, endangers marine wildlife and threatens sustainable fisheries. I am convinced that the only way to eradicate this once and for all is to have clear rules which leave no room for interpretation. We need to close any possible loopholes and simplify control and enforcement by national authorities. This will in the end also save the livelihood of those fishermen which have applied the rules over the past years. The ban sends out a clear message that we no longer tolerate any irresponsible practices."
Driftnets are fishing nets that can drift and operate close to or at the sea surface to target fish species that swim in the upper part of the water column. Since 2002 all driftnets, no matter their size, have been prohibited in EU waters when intended for the capture of highly migratory species such as tuna and swordfish. 

However, the current EU legislative framework has shown weaknesses and loopholes. The small-scale nature of the fishing vessels involved and the fact that they do not operate together in the same areas has made it easier to escape monitoring, control and proper enforcement. Illegal driftnet activities carried out by EU fishing vessels continue to be reported and have been cause of criticism regarding the Union compliance with applicable international obligations.

Banning driftnets responds to the new Common Fisheries Policy's goal to minimise the impact of fishing activities on the marine ecosystems and to reduce unwanted catches as much as possible. Depending on Member States' priorities, the European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) could be used to support the transition towards a total ban provided that specific conditions are fulfilled.

Background
Following specific United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolutions, which called for a moratorium on the "large-scale pelagic driftnets" (i.e. longer than 2.5 km), the EU developed in the 1990s a series of provisions to implement such a ban for large-scale driftnets.
The current EU legal framework on driftnets fishing entered fully into force on 1 January 2002. It bans the use of all driftnets, no matter their size, in EU waters when intended for the capture of highly migratory species such as tuna and swordfish.
In the Baltic Sea, the use of driftnets and the keeping on board of any kind of driftnets has been fully banned since 1 January 2008
Despite this entire regulatory framework in place, the rules have not been fully respected. In April 2013, the Commission therefore published a Roadmap concerning a review of the EU regime on driftnet fisheries and launched two studies1, as well as a public consultation (closed in September 2013) on small-scale driftnet fisheries in order to get an overview of the sector, to assess the impact of driftnets on prohibited and protected species and to decide whether and how to review the implementation of EU rules on the small-scale driftnet fisheries.
[europa.eu]
14/5/14
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Τετάρτη, 7 Μαΐου 2014

Fish farmed in the EU: a healthy, fresh and local alternative

Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Brussels, 7 May 2014:

Aquaculture Event at Seafood Expo Global - 
"Ladies and Gentlemen,
I will be brief… I can see many of you are eyeing up the delicious samples on offer here and this is precisely the purpose today: showcase our "EU farmed fish"! I am delighted to be here today to highlight the benefits of eating, fresh, locally produced fish. In other words, fish farmed here in the EU. When I say "fish", I mean of course both finfish and shellfish.

I know I am preaching a convinced audience here. But the growing demand, especially for Omega 3 rich fish, cannot be met by simply fishing more out of the sea. There are simply not enough fish out there and our fish stocks are still reeling from years of overfishing.

Sustainably farmed fish can alleviate this pressure. Sustainable farming means producing while ensuring that our waters stay clean, our ecosystems rich and healthy and that consumer protection and social rules are respected. Future generations have the same right as we have to enjoy our seas, rivers and lakes. Young people should be also given credible expectations to find jobs in thriving companies selling tasty products.

You know it, only 10% of our EU consumption is also farmed in the EU. Much of the imported seafood travels long distances from remote places around the world to reach our tables. Fish farmed in the EU represents an excellent local, sustainable alternative. Initiatives like the Italian "Chilometro Zero" are also based on this very same logic. We want to spread this message of the quality of our EU products.

This fresh farmed fish meets not only our high consumer protection requirements, but also the quality standards in taste and texture demanded by "top chefs". Top chefs like Mr Vissani and Mr MacGillivray, who I am delighted to welcome here today to tell us why they use farmed fish in their cooking. And I hope to learn a few tasty tips which I can bring home.
So before I have a chat with our special guests, let me leave you with two messages: Firstly, look out for our exciting project with schools from across Europe later in the year to promote aquaculture.

Secondly, I would encourage you all to help us spreading the gospel about our locally farmed European fish. Not only does it help us protect wild fish stocks but is also healthy, sustainable and, as our two chefs are about to tell us, tasty!"
[europa.eu]
6/5/14
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Σάββατο, 26 Απριλίου 2014

NO EXCUSES: WE NEED TO PROTECT THE ANTARCTIC. - Only less than one percent of the world’s oceans are currently set aside as “protected”

Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries:

"Did you know that only less than one percent of the world’s oceans are currently set aside as “protected”? Only a handful of those areas are spared human interference altogether. Today’s International Penguin Day reminds us of the need to protect Antarctic habitats before it’s too late. If we are to save the last remaining pockets of pristine ocean and the thousands of unique species living there, we need to act fast.

Some progress has been made: through international efforts, the first marine protected area in the Southern Ocean was adopted in 2009. Near the South Orkney Islands fishing is now banned except for scientific purposes. We are still on a learning curve and it may be a few years before it runs completely smoothly. But in the meantime the site’s krill and squids will have fed generations of Antarctic penguins. We are now moving to the next step – there are currently proposals to protect the waters of East Antarctica and the Ross Sea before the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) that deserve international support. A decision could be taken in October already.

The fact that these areas are part of the common good does not grant us a free pass to do nothing. On the contrary: the EU is also fighting for an international agreement to cover precisely those areas which fall through the net of direct responsibility of any one country. And we are aiming for this by next year.

Turning back the clock on ecosystems is an urgent matter, and one that I’m not comfortable postponing. No excuse there."

http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/damanaki/no-excuses-we-need-to-protect-the-antarctic/
25/4/14
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International Penguin Day
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Δευτέρα, 24 Μαρτίου 2014

EU takes concrete action against illegal fishing. -European Commission

Following a Commission proposal, the Council of Ministers has today decided to list Belize, Cambodia and Guinea-Conakry as countries acting insufficiently against illegal fishing. After several warnings, measures will now come into effect against the three countries to tackle the commercial benefits stemming from illegal fishing. This means that imports into the EU of any fisheries products caught by vessels from these countries will now be banned, whilst EU vessels will not be allowed to fish in these countries' waters. It is the first time that measures of this type are adopted at EU level.
European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, welcomed the decision:
"These decisions are historic. They demonstrate that the EU is leading by example in the fight against illegal fishing. I want EU citizens to know that the fish they consume is sustainable, wherever it comes from. We are steadily moving in that direction. I hope that this blacklisting will act as a catalyst for Belize, Cambodia, and Guinea to step up their efforts and work with the international community to eliminate illegal fishing"
The decision is consistent with the EU's international commitment to the sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources at home and abroad. The EU's approach reflects the fact that illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a global criminal activity harmful not only to EU fishermen, but also to local communities in developing countries.
Background
Despite the Commission working closely with the authorities of Belize, Cambodia and Guinea to set up fisheries management and effective control measures, the three countries have still not addressed structural problems and have failed to show real commitment to tackling the problem of illegal fishing. After several warnings , the Commission therefore proposed to the Council to list the three countries as non-cooperating countries, in line with the EU IUU Regulation.
Today's decision by the Council means that fisheries products caught by vessels flying these countries' flags are now banned from being imported into the EU. EU vessels will also have to stop fishing in these waters. Other forms of cooperation, such as joint fishing operations or fisheries agreements with these countries will no longer be possible.
The EU is hereby enforcing its international commitments as laid down by the United Nations and the FAO. All of the identified countries have failed to fulfil their duties as flag, coastal, port or market states typically by disrespecting the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) or the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement. (europa.eu)
24/3/14
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Τετάρτη, 19 Μαρτίου 2014

THEY SAY OLD HABITS DIE HARD…

From fish egg to adult fish, all species follow important stages of development. And we definitely need to respect this life cycle. Even more now that the state of the stocks is alarming in the Mediterranean.
The maths are simple: for one juvenile left in the sea today we will have a new generation tomorrow. For example, a juvenile codfish reaches 10 cm, weights 5.4 grams and has no chance to reproduce. A mature codfish of 80 cm weights in average 3.6 kilos and produces 657 eggs. And if we let these new 657 juveniles grow up to maturity, we could fish in the end up to 2400 kilos of codfish. In other words, fishing juveniles is completely illogical.

Cultural change needs to happen in the Mediterranean. Indeed, the regional gastronomy still frequently features juvenile fish despite its catastrophic consequences. We have set minimum fishing size for several species and minimum mesh sizes for nets within the Mediterranean Regulation. We have put sustainability at the core of our renewed Common Fisheries Policy. But this is not enough. We need deep changes in our mind-sets.
I do think that a complementary solution lies with each and every one of us. We all need to act by our own means to stop eating juveniles. Fishermen need to commit to respect minimum size, fishmongers and retailers to stop selling undersized fish, consumers to pay attention to labelling and to the fish they choose.
They say old habits die hard. But I am convinced that well informed consumers and conscious professionals can put an end to harmful juvenile consumption.
Maria Damanaki's blog 
19/3/14
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Σάββατο, 15 Μαρτίου 2014

Less is More: We Need a Global Strategy to End Fishing Overcapacity

The global ocean, from the coast to the high seas, is facing multiple threats. We rely on the ocean for food, for transport, for the very air we breathe, but the current systems in place for governing and managing its resources are not fit for purpose. As a result, fish stocks are being depleted, rich biodiversity is at risk and illegal fishing vessels threaten the food security of whole nations. It is our economies that suffer -- depletion of fish stocks alone costs the global economy an estimated $50 billion per year.

The root of the problem is fishing overcapacity: too many boats chasing too few fish. Most problematic are the thousands of powerful, modern boats, equipped with high-tech tools able to find fish almost anywhere. But the more fish these boats take out, the fewer fish there are that can reproduce, and the more fishers must turn to potent tools to find them.

To break this vicious circle, since the 1990s the EU has shifted away from expanding the EU fishing fleet and is instead focusing support in the opposite direction -- adapting it to natural resources. The EU's fleet has been reduced by 25 percent since 2000.

Fishing less can be economically smarter. Reducing pressure on fish populations enables them to recover and thrive, making fishing easier and increasing the industry's profits as well as the welfare of coastal communities. Europe badly needs smart economics like this right now, just as it needs a stable supply of fresh and healthy seafood. Globally, with 83 percent of high seas fishing being carried out by developed countries, the principle of the freedom of the high seas is manifestly inequitable.

Of course, scrapping fishing vessels is not the only, or even the best, way to reduce capacity. The solution must be a well-designed mix of structural and conservation tools, rights-based management systems, tighter controls and, especially, incentives for diversification. After all, boats that go out fishing can also go out collecting litter or be put to good use for tourism.

Nor can overcapacity be reversed without specifically dealing with the vast subsidies that have driven it -- both globally and in the EU. Global fisheries subsidies are estimated at approximately $35 billion a year, over $20 billion of which are capacity-enhancing. Without this distortion, many fishing enterprises would simply not be profitable, and other industries and jobs would emerge in their stead.

The recent reform of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy addresses all these issues and will help eradicate the remaining pockets of overcapacity in the European fleet. Subsidies have been redesigned to promote sustainable fisheries and prohibit any support that risks increasing capacity. The reform will also ensure that when European vessels fish outside EU waters they only fish within scientifically safe margins and only after the needs of nearby coastal state fleets have been met.

The EU is putting a stop to fishing overcapacity. Now this needs to happen at a global level. To achieve the right balance between fishing power and natural resources, all global actors need to pull together. International rules and processes exist but -- all too often -- only on paper and not in practice. These glaring gaps in ocean governance, especially on the high seas, were the motivation behind the creation of the Global Ocean Commission in 2013.

Some battles are being won, with annual quotas and capacity limits for Bluefin tuna in the Atlantic and Mediterranean now set in accordance with scientific advice, or the capacity freeze on tropical tunas in the Pacific. Other struggles persist, such as monitoring better compliance. With a third of all commercial fish stocks over-exploited and a further half fully exploited, it is disheartening to watch while some nations still heavily subsidize their vessel and processing capacity or continue to expand their fleets.

There is no shortage of rules and guidance: we have an FAO International Plan of Action on overcapacity; we have joint recommendations by regional organisations managing tuna on how to reduce and transfer capacity; and the World Trade Organization also has a mandate to negotiate rules to prevent harmful subsidies. But we badly need a stronger political thrust for these plans to be systematically enforced, for words on paper to be translated into action. The Global Ocean Commission is currently developing a set of cost-effective, pragmatic and politically feasible proposals for strengthening ocean governance and enforcement, and building a coalition able to act on them.

Action means using advanced technology to assess and monitor worldwide capacity, like a global record of all vessels based on a mandatory single system of vessel identification; it means official agreements and systems for enforcement able to impose strict sanctions; it can also mean voluntary and joint efforts by major fishing nations like the ones set up to combat illegal fishing.

Above all, we need a coherent and global approach to ocean governance and management that also encompasses development and trade policy.

It is high time the world addressed excessive global fishing power. This is why the European Commission is inviting Fisheries Ministers from around the globe to meet in Thessaloniki on 13 and 14 March 2014: to ride the momentum of the reforms in the EU and drive the international debate forward. Let's work together to make both our ecosystems and our economies sustainable.
 http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/damanaki/less-is-more-we-need-a-global-strategy-to-end-fishing-overcapacity/
13/3/14
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Δευτέρα, 20 Ιανουαρίου 2014

La Commission européenne veut développer l'énergie marémotrice

La Commission européenne a lancé lundi un plan d'action pour inciter les 28 à exploiter leurs vagues et marées, une source d'énergie renouvelable jugée prometteuse pour compléter éolien et solaire. Le secteur permettrait de créer plus de 25.000 emplois temps plein et 14.000 emplois temporaires.

L'énergie marémotrice est "une énergie à portée de la main, que l'on peut exploiter de manière écologique", a souligné lors d'une conférence de presse le Commissaire à l'Energie, Gunther Oettinger.

Selon sa collègue aux Affaires maritimes, Maria Damanaki, l'Europe est en pointe sur ce secteur, accueillant notamment la deuxième centrale marémotrice au monde, sur la Rance, en Bretagne (France), et des projets en Ecosse, Royaume-Uni, Portugal, France, Espagne et Scandinavie. "Mais les coûts de production sont actuellement très élevés", a-t-elle relevé, imposant le développement et la commercialisation de nouvelles technologies plus rentables. Autres problèmes à résoudre: des problèmes de raccordement au réseau, des barrières administratives et la prise en compte des incidences environnementales. 

Les groupes "Alstom (France), ABB (helvético-suédois) et Siemens (Allemagne)sont des leaders sur le marché mondial des turbines (...) nous pouvons être confiants" dans la capacité de l'industrie européenne à s'imposer sur ce marché, a jugé M. Oettinger. Industriels et scientifiques divergent toutefois sur le potentiel de l'énergie marémotrice: selon les premiers, elle pourrait d'ici 2020 couvrir jusqu'à 15% de la demande de l'UE en électricité, selon les seconds, sa part ne dépasserait pas 1% de la consommation européenne à la même date. L'objectif de la Commission est de pouvoir présenter en 2016 une feuille de route recensant objectifs et outils pour développer la filière. Elle doit être préparée par un forum réunissant tous les acteurs du secteur. Selon certaines estimations, le secteur pourrait créer plus de 25.000 emplois temps plein d'ici 2035. (Belga) 
http://www.rtl.be/info/monde/europe/1063302/la-commission-europeenne-veut-developper-l-energie-maremotrice
20/1/14
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-----------------------------------
  • Σχέδιο Ανάπτυξης Ανανεώσιμων Πηγών Ωκεάνιας Ενέργειας από την Ε.Ε.

Ένα σχέδιο δράσης με στόχο την ανάπτυξη του τομέα των ανανεώσιμων πηγών ωκεάνιας ενέργειας στην Ευρώπη παρουσίασαν σήμερα η Ελληνίδα επίτροπος αρμόδια για θέματα Θαλάσσιας Πολιτικής, Μαρία Δαμανάκη και ο Γερμανός επίτροπος αρμόδιος για θέματα Ενέργειας, Γκίντερ Έτινγκερ.
Όπως επισήμαναν η Μ. Δαμανάκη και ο Γκ. Έτινγκερ, η αξιοποίηση της ωκεάνιας ενέργειας θα συμβάλει στην απεξάρτηση της οικονομίας της ΕΕ από τον άνθρακα και θα εξασφαλίσει αξιόπιστες και ασφαλείς ανανεώσιμες πηγές ενέργειας στην Ευρώπη, μειώνοντας την εξάρτησή της από τα ορυκτά καύσιμα. Σύμφωνα με τη Μ. Δαμανάκη, οι θάλασσες και οι ωκεανοί διαθέτουν το απαιτούμενο δυναμικό για τη δημιουργία τεράστιας οικονομικής ανάπτυξης και θέσεων απασχόλησης.
«Διευκολύνοντας την πλήρη ανάπτυξη του τομέα της ωκεάνιας ενέργειας, μπορούμε να αξιοποιήσουμε αυτό το δυναμικό μέσω της καινοτομίας, εξασφαλίζοντας ταυτόχρονα "καθαρή" ενέργεια από ανανεώσιμες πηγές για την Ευρώπη.» πρόσθεσε η Μ. Δαμανάκη.
Από την πλευρά του, ο Γερμανός επίτροπος Γκ. Έτινγκερ τόνισε ότι η ανάπτυξη της ωκεάνιας ενέργειας θα μπορούσε να ενισχύσει σημαντικά την ασφάλεια του ενεργειακού εφοδιασμού. «Η δημιουργία ενός μεγάλου χαρτοφυλακίου ανανεώσιμων πηγών ενέργειας, συμπεριλαμβανομένης της ωκεάνιας ενέργειας, θα διευκολύνει επίσης την ενσωμάτωση των πηγών αυτών στο ευρωπαϊκό ενεργειακό σύστημα», ανέφερε ο Γερμανός επίτροπος.......................http://www.energia.gr/article.asp?art_id=78350
20/1/14 
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Πέμπτη, 15 Νοεμβρίου 2012

Ευρωπαϊκή «κίτρινη κάρτα» σε 8 κράτη για παράνομη αλιεία

Η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή προειδοποίησε με κυρώσεις οκτώ αναπτυσσόμενες χώρες αν δεν λάβουν περισσότερα μέτρα για να σταματήσουν την «εγκληματική» παράνομη αλιευτική δραστηριότητα, επισημαίνοντας ότι είναι η πρώτη φορά που προβαίνει σε ανάλογη δράση.
Η Επιτροπή δήλωσε μεν ότι δεν έχει ακόμη σκοπό να επιβάλει κυρώσεις στα κράτη Μπελίζε, Καμπότζη, Φίτζι, Γουινέα, Παναμά, Σρι Λάνκα, Τόγκο και Βανουάτου, ωστόσο τόνισε ότι θα μπορούσαν να αντιμετωπίσουν κυρώσεις, όπως η απαγόρευση πώλησης αλιευτικών εργαλείων στην Ευρώπη, αν δεν ανταποκριθούν στην προειδοποίηση.
«Αυτό δεν είναι μια μαύρη λίστα, αλλά μια κίτρινη κάρτα» δήλωσε χαρακτηριστικά η ελληνίδα Επίτροπος Αλιείας της ΕΕ Μαρία Δαμανάκη [1].


«Θέλουμε
να αντιμετωπίζουμε τις χώρες αυτές ως εταίρους ... αλλά θέλουμε επίσης να επισημάνουμε ότι η ΕΕ δεν θα ανεχθεί (παράνομη) αλιεία - μια εγκληματική δραστηριότητα που υπονομεύει την επιβίωση των αλιευτικών κοινοτήτων και εξαντλεί τα ιχθυαποθέματα. (Τέτοια δραστηριότητα) θα πρέπει να εξαλειφθεί με κάθε τρόπο» δήλωσε η κ. Δαμανάκη.

Οι οκτώ χώρες έχουν ενημερωθεί, και θα τους δοθεί «ένα εύλογο χρονικό διάστημα» προκειμένου να απαντήσουν και να αναλάβουν δράση πρόσθεσε η επίτροπος.
Ερωτηθείσα ποιο μπορεί να είναι το επόμενο βήμα, η κ. Δαμανάκη δήλωσε ότι η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή θα προτείνει ακόμη και εμπορικές κυρώσεις αν τα οχτώ κράτη δεν ανταποκριθούν στην προειδοποίηση.
«Την επόμενη φορά δεν θα είναι μόνο μια κίτρινη κάρτα ... αυτό θα είναι οδυνηρό για όλους», υπογράμμισε, σημειώνοντας ότι η Ινδονησία είχε συνεργαστεί με την ΕΕ για περίπου ένα χρόνο και έτσι δεν περιελήφθη στο σχέτικο κατάλογο.

Η ΕΕ, που είναι
σήμερα ο μεγαλύτερος εισαγωγέας αλιευμάτων παγκοσμίως, το 2010 υιοθέτησε οδηγία με στόχο να κλείσει η ευρωπαϊκή αγορά σε όσους παραβιάζουν τους κανόνες της.

.ecofinder.gr
15/11/12
--

  • [1] Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
Today, the European Commission stepped up its action to fight illegal fishing worldwide by warning eight third countries that they risk being identified as countries it considers non-cooperative in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU). The countries in question are: Belize, Cambodia, Fiji, Guinea, Panama, Sri Lanka, Togo and Vanuatu.
Commissioner Maria Damanaki said: "This is not a black list, but a yellow card. We want these countries as partners to combat illegal fishing. We want them to improve their legal and control systems as required by international rules. But we also want to signal to the world that the EU will not tolerate IUU fishing - a criminal activity which undermines the livelihood of fishing communities and depletes fish stocks. It must be eradicated by all means."
This decision is the first of its kind and it highlights that these countries are not doing enough to fight illegal fishing. It identifies concrete shortcomings, such as lack of dialogue or lack of actions to address deficiencies in monitoring, controlling and surveillance of fisheries, and suggests corrective actions to resolve them. The decision will not, at this stage, entail any measures affecting trade. The eight countries have been notified and given a reasonable time to respond and to rectify the situation. The Commission has also proposed an action plan for each country. Should the situation not improve, the EU could take further steps, which could entail trade measures such as a ban on selling fisheries products to the EU.
The fight against illegal fishing is part of the EU drive to ensure the sustainable use of the sea and its resources. As the world's biggest fish importer the EU aims to close its markets to illegally caught fish. The Commission considers that the eight countries identified do not so far fulfil their duties as flag, coastal, port or market states in line with international law, such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement. For instance, the countries need to amend their legal framework to combat IUU fishing, improve control and monitoring actions or take a proactive role in compliance of international law rules.
The Commission's decision is a result of a thorough analysis and it also took into account each country's level of development. The decision follows a long period of informal discussions with the countries in question. It now starts a formal procedure of dialogue and cooperation with these countries with the aim to solve the established shortcomings.
The estimated global value of IUU fishing is approximately 10 billion euros per year, and it is said to account for 19% of the reported value of catches. Between 11 and 26 million tonnes of fish are caught illegally a year, which corresponds to at least 15% of world catches. It is estimated that 16% of all sea-caught fish imported into the EU is caught illegally.

.ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/damanaki


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