social policies neededThe social dimension of fishing is important, say Europêche, Cogeca and ETF. Photo: Quentin Bates

Europêche, Cogeca and ETF have called on EU policymakers to recognise the key social dimension of fishing to improve the health and safety of fishers and attract young people to the sector.

This follows the presentation of the European Parliament draft report ‘Fishers for the future: Attracting a new generation of labour to the fishing industry and generating employment in coastal communities’ by MEP, Manuel Pizarro. He has stressed the need for “adequate social policies to guarantee better working and living conditions” for fishing professionals.

Ment van der Zwan, Europêche’s spokesman on social affairs, declared: “The report is an important step in the right direction. However, we feel that more attention is needed towards the ratification and implementation of internationally agreed social and safety standards that protect fishers in all aspects of their work. For that reason, we call on all Member States to ratify the pioneering Work in Fishing Convention No 188. We also request the European Commission to propose a Directive to establish a harmonised inspections system on control and enforcement of social provisions. It is equally important that the Commission proposes a Directive to ensure harmonised training and safety standards in the EU by transposing the IMO STCW-F Convention.”

Mr Pizarro and the three partner organisations agree that prosperous and sustainable fishing requires specific attention and regulation to address issues not sufficiently covered by current fisheries policies, such as the social dimension of fishing. They pledge to work together to close existing legislative and policy gaps that, for far too long, have existed in the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

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