The European Association of Fish Producers Organisations has concluded its Annual General Meeting, with a virtual gathering this year during which the organisation’s officers mandates were extended.
Opening the meeting, EAPO president Pim Visser reported on the activities of the association in 2019-2020 – and one of the focal subjects for discussion at this year’s AGM was the future of EAPO. While many British members decided not to retain their membership during the Brexit transition period, for some of them the 2020 AGM was their last meeting.
“We as an organisation will have to make great efforts due to the many challenges ahead for the fishing sector. To tackle these in the most effective manner co-operation is key. Although the EU and the way fishermen work are changing, our seas remain the same,” Pim Visser said.
“Therefore, we have to keep in mind that we are all working towards a common objective and this is to perpetuate a European sustainable fisheries and seafood sector in the interest of the fishers, their families and thriving fishing communities across the EU.”
In light of the current COVID-19-crisis and the changing environment because of Brexit it was suggested and accepted to prolong the mandates of the members of the Bureau and the Executive Committee for one year. Pim Visser maintains his position as President, Thomas Wenzel Kruse as Treasurer and Purificacion Fernandez as Secretary. Belgian PO Rederscentrale will continue as EAPO secretariat with its Chief Executive Emiel Brouckaert retaining the role of EAPO’s Secretary-General.
The impact of Brexit and the Covid-19-crisis are some of the main challenges the European fisheries Producers Organisations (PO) will be faced with over the coming years. The many aspects of the work of POs have been discussed with the representatives of the European Commission, led by Francisgos Nikolian (DG MARE, Head of Unit A4).
The chairs of the different EAPO Working Groups (Markets, Northern Pelagic, North Sea, North Western Waters and South Western Waters) reported on their activities over the past year. With new members joining, it was decided to also create a Baltic Sea Working Group.