Europeche President, Javier Garat spoke this morning at the European Parliament Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainability on the importance of the EU fishery sector to the future of biodiversity and food security.
Speaking remotely on the webinar he said “The fishing industry’s mission is to feed the world with the healthiest animal protein and the least possible environmental impact; and create wealth and employment.”
In his talk he highlighted the contribution that EU fishers make to biodiversity and food security.
“The future of our oceans: 50% more fish in the sea than 2010, 99% sustainable landings from EU managed stocks, 50% of fishing pressure reduced and the fishing industry has the lowest carbon footprint of all food producing industries.”
On the issue of climate change, Mr Garat said “As some scientists have said, apocalyptic or catastrophic messages do not help to improve fisheries management: we need to build trust among all the parties.”
Mr Garat was reelected General Secretary of the International Coalition of Fishing Associations (ICFA) back in September which sees him serve a sixth term at a time when the industry faces many challenges. The ICFA is a coalition of the national fish and seafood industry trade associations from the world’s major fishing nations. ICFA members represent countries harvesting more than 85% of the world’s fish.
Javier Garat, is also the current Secretary General of the Spanish Fisheries Confederation (CEPESCA) and has been appointed a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), a position he will hold until September 2025. The EESC acts in an advisory capacity to the European Parliament.
The incorporation of Garat into the EESC, based in Brussels coincides with a stage of special interest for the Spanish and European fishing sector, as it has to face issues such as the consequences of Brexit, the management of European funds in maritime and fisheries matters (FEMP ) or the legislative development of the EU biodiversity and farm-to-table strategies.
For Javier Garat, “the pandemic and the subsequent crisis have underlined the need to give urgent and forceful responses in the economic and social spheres, and our sector, the fishing industry, can and must clearly contribute to the recovery and provide healthy nutrition to The world population. From the EESC I will work on proposals that strengthen our sector so that it takes positions as a sustainable engine of recovery and can achieve it ”.