Spaniard Javier Garat faces his seventh term in the International Coalition of Fisheries Associations (ICFA) after being re-elected President

Spaniard Javier Garat faces his seventh term in the International Coalition of Fisheries Associations (ICFA) after being re-elected President

The Spanish Javier Garat has been re-elected, for the seventh consecutive year, president of the International Coalition of Fishing Associations (ICFA), a world-wide organization that defends the interests of fishing entrepreneurs in international forums. 

Garat, who will hold the post for one year, has been unanimously elected from the 17 members that make up this coalition on behalf of fishing associations from both countries.

The re-election of the Spanish Garat, secretary general of the Spanish Fisheries Confederation (Cepesca) and president of Europêche, took place during the meeting held yesterday by ICFA in which, in addition, the main challenges of the fishing sector on a global scale were analysed ahead of 2022, defined as its per year of the oceans and the environment.

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Among the issues addressed are the debates in the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which will have to decide on the new global biodiversity goals post-2020 in the long term (2050) and the short-term goals (2030). In particular, it will be decided on the percentage of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and other equivalent conservation measures that must be achieved in the world, the objectives related to the sustainable use of marine resources, with the resilience of marine ecosystems, with the food safety or the fisheries subsidies and the adaptive management of fisheries to cope with climate change.

On the other hand, the year 2022 can be a crucial year for the approval of the binding legal instrument within the framework of the United Nations on Biological Biodiversity beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) that, according to the world employers, could have a negative impact in high seas fishing activities if the work carried out within the Regional Fisheries Organizations is not duly taken into account.

The meeting also analysed the state of the negotiations on fishing subsidies that are taking place within the World Trade Organization (WTO) , the defamatory campaigns against trawling , the damaging effects on the fishing fleet. the inclusion of the shortfin mako in Annex II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) , the approach of the different regions to blockchain technology applied to the traceability of fishery products and the problems that it involves marine pollution by plastics , as well as the various initiatives underway to contribute to its solution.

Finally, ICFA members have internally debated the different issues to be discussed during the meeting that they will hold today with senior FAO officials.

According to Javier Garat, “the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that fishing activity is essential, and, despite this, our activity continues to suffer permanent persecution, not only by conservation organizations, but also by some governments.”

“It is a pride,” adds Garat, “that ICFA members once again give me their trust to defend a sector that, very contrary to what some people insist on spreading, is the first guardian of the marine environment and of resources that are essential, not only to ensure our health, but also to guarantee the nutrition of a growing population with the least impact of carbon footprint.”

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Javier Garat re-elected to serve his seventh term as ICFA President

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