The socio-economic value of recreational fishing and the importance of collecting data regularly will be the subject of the next RecFishing Forum meeting.
The European Parliament recently commissioned a €120,000 study on recreational sea fisheries. This and other actions are evidence that it is showing increasing interest in the sector, its catches and the socio-economic value. Earlier this year the Parliament suggested that the member states should be obliged to collect socio-economic data on recreational fisheries. However, there has been no action as member states mull over the cost implications involved.
EFTTA says that it is puzzled that the member states are not showing interest in getting more information on recreational fishing. It adds that in this regard, Europe is lagging behind the likes of the US, Canada and Australia, and that it will continue to push for improved information and a European socio-economic study every five years.
Werner Kuhn - German MEP, will chair the meeting, which is expected to be held on March 8 in the European Parliament Building, in Brussels. Kuhn pushed for the importance of collecting data, alongside his Italian counterpart, Marco Affronte.
Cécile Fouquet, of AliénorEU, the European policies consulting agency hired to represent EFTTA’s interests in the European Parliament, said: “Very often the value of economic activities generated by the anglers is roughly estimated, but this is not satisfactory when it comes to quality decision-making.
“To take recreational fisheries and its worth into consideration, accurate data must be collected regularly and definitions and terms in use in various countries must be aligned to make sure that information and studies are comparable across the borders.”
The RecFishing Forum is supported by EFTTA and the European Anglers Alliance (EAA) which supplies the administration and Secretariat. The Forum aims to improve contact and communication between MEP’s and Europe’s 25 million anglers. It also serves as a place for discussion on issues related to the European Parliament and to give MEP’s access to EFTTA and EAA in-house experts and their broad network of scientists.