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Tomasic: Action needed to protect coastal fishing

17 February 2016

Tomasic: Action needed to protect coastal fishing

More action is needed to prevent the decline in coastal fishing.

More action is needed to prevent the decline in coastal fishing and its positive impact on coastal economies, according to a report adopted today by the European Parliament’s fisheries committee, drafted by Croatian MEP Ruza Tomasic.

The report looks at how innovation and diversification can help coastal regions dependant on fishing to survive. Not only is coastal fishing a way of life for many communities, but for islands and coastal areas it can also provide a number of people’s livelihoods.

Mrs Tomasic’s report looks at how the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) could help to diversify coastal economies, such as by investing in fish restaurants that sell local produce, and it calls for EU science and development funding to be used to invest in collection of data about Europe’s seas, and to promote more scientific research based in coastal regions. It also calls for a change in EU laws to preserve fishing gears and techniques that are used by coastal fisheries, yet have been banned in efforts to cut down on their use in commercial fishing. With a review of the so-called ‘Mediterranean regulation’ forthcoming, Mrs Tomasic wants to see a clear differentiation between commercial fishing and coastal fisheries.

Speaking after the adoption of her report, European Conservatives and Reformists MEP Mrs Tomasic said:

“Coastal regions face decline and depopulation as people move elsewhere to find work. This would be a great shame, and can only be halted if we embrace the potential that coastal fishing brings to these economies.

“With the right policies we can revitalise coastal regions and islands by investing in industries that relate to fisheries, such as tourism and culture or scientific research. Innovation creates jobs, and this is the only way we can keep the economies of coastal and island communities vibrant.

“The European Commission needs to take more action to protect small scale fishing in coastal communities, such as by allowing them to use fishing techniques that have been caught up in bans aimed at commercial fishermen. This report must now be turned into action to breathe new life into our coastal and island regions.”

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