News Digest n.8 / 2021
The European Union and the Cook Islands have agreed to continue their fisheries partnership as part of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement. This agreement allows EU fishing vessels operating in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean to continue fishing in the Cook Islands area. Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius has confirmed that European vessels will now “be able to continue fishing one of the healthiest tropical tuna stocks”, also stating that the EU is “proud to contribute in the development of the Cook Islands’ fisheries sector”. The EU will contribute with a up to €4 million for the next three years, of which €1 million to support the Cook Islands’ initiatives within fisheries and maritime policy.
The European Commission has adopted the first Partnership Agreement for the 2021-2027 programming period for Greece, the first EU country to submit its strategic reference document for deploying more than €21 billion of investments for its economic, social and territorial cohesion. This agreement lays out the strategy and the investment priorities to be addressed through these funds and also the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund. Greece will invest these funds in order to enable the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy, the European Green Deal, the EU Strategic Guidelines for sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture and also the EU Communication on Sustainable Blue Bioeconomy. The main aim will be the promotion of the green and digital transitions.
The “Catching the Potential” project is an EU-supported, cooperative effort from the fishing sector and educators with the aim of developing and implementing an effective, international standard for sustainable fishing training for fishers. Sustainable fishing training addresses marine ecology and also the role of fishing in the marine ecosystem. It provides knowledge and understanding of issues such as the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, fish stock assessment, Maritime Spatial Planning, marine litter, climate change etc.
The European Union has decided to contribute up to €900,000 for a project called “Celavie” which promotes aquaponics in Italy and Tunisia. This project will be coordinated by Coreras (Italy), a regional consortium for applied research and experimentation, along with other partners involved such as the University of Sfax, the Italian National Research Council (CNR), the Tunisian Union of Agriculture and Fisheries (UTAP), Green Future and the Association of the Continuity of Generations (AGC). This project has as its main goal the support of the agriculture and aquaculture sector in inland Sicilian and Tunisian territories through process and product innovations according to aquaponics technology.
On 15 July, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) held a ministerial meeting on fishing subsidies, which confirmed the commitment to set the course for a successful outcome on negotiations before the WTO’s Ministerial Conference starting in November 2021. The Ministers confirmed their shared objective to reach an agreement that will make a meaningful contribution to halting the degradation of the world’s fisheries resources and the economic activities. The European Union, in its Common Fisheries Policy, has prioritized an approach that ensures that fishing is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. For this reason, the EU also advocates that WTO rules must be based on sustainability.