NWWAC looks back on productive year, and ahead to a work plan reflecting the biggest North Western Waters fisheries issues in years

NWWAC looks back on productive year in 2022, and ahead to a 2023 work plan reflecting the biggest North Western Waters fisheries issues in years

NWWAC looks back on productive year, and ahead to a work plan reflecting the biggest North Western Waters fisheries issues in years

2022 has been another successful and productive year for the North Western Waters Advisory Council (NWWAC), which continues to provide EU decision makers with a high number of quality and consensus-based contributions on fisheries policy.

The Advisory Council hosted 109 meetings, which led to 32 submissions in the form of letters, opinions, or formal advice to EU legislators. Between October 2021 and September 2022, advice ranged from species-specific issues, such as cod in the Celtic Sea and skates & rays, to cross-cutting topics, including offshore renewables, the landing obligation, and the functioning of the Common Fisheries Policy. Looking ahead, 2023 is set to be another exciting year for the NWWAC, with large-scale environmental policies playing a key role in fisheries management.

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As one of eleven EU Advisory Councils defined in the Common Fisheries Policy, the NWWAC brings together fishing industry and other interest representatives to produce advice on how to manage fisheries and the aspects having an impact on fisheries in ICES areas 6 and 7 of the North East Atlantic Ocean. Such advice is destined to the European Commission and the Member States involved in NWW fisheries.

Emiel Brouckaert, Chair of the NWWAC, commented:

“The NWWAC has proven itself a successful example of stakeholder engagement in EU fisheries management despite the challenges brought by Brexit, the pandemic and of the war in Ukraine. 2021-2022 was the most active year in the NWWAC’s history and we intend to continue the fruitful collaboration with the European Commission and the NWW Member States this year as well. Our work programme sets out clear, relevant priorities that keep focus on all three pillars of sustainability in the context of the impact of climate change and biodiversity preservation. 

The NWWAC believes in the importance of applying a holistic approach to fisheries management, considering the entire ecosystem. This is clearly reflected in its inclusive work plan for 2022-2023.

“While balancing a large breadth of fisheries-related policies and issues, our work plan reflects the urgent need to move towards ecosystem-based fisheries management and the best approaches to minimise the impact on the environment. The diversity of our members – commercial vessel owners, producer organisations, processors, traders, environmental NGOs, and recreational fishermen – ensures the production of advice that is balanced between environmental protection and the interests of the industry, coastal communities and other marine users.” – Mo Mathies, NWWAC Executive Secretary

In an unpredictable political landscape and with the effects of climate change underway, the range and complexity of marine and fisheries management issues are only set to intensify. To improve its contribution in addressing these issues and reaching the objective of the EU Common Fisheries Policy, the NWWAC is seeking well-informed and sustainability-minded organisations to join its membership.

The NWWAC facilitates a forum for fishing sector stakeholders and other interest stakeholders to achieve unanimous advice for EU policymakers and managers. Prospective members will have the opportunity to sharpen the impact of NWWAC advice, connect with the current NGO and fishing sector membership, and engage in internationally important scientific projects with access to exclusive resources.

“Having stakeholder groups coming together and finding common ground on key issues is essential to develop fair, effective, and environmentally sensitive contributions to NWW fisheries policy and management. In this regard, the NWWAC has a great opportunity to work towards consensus advice and sharpen the impact of such advice. We hope to welcome new members soon to share the exciting work ahead in 2023 and beyond.” – Emiel Brouckaert, Chair of the NWWAC.

Source: Press Release

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NWWAC reflects on productive 2022 and forward to 2023 work plan

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