eapo energy food sovereignty

EAPO President, Esben Sverdrup-Jensen has told members that energy sovereignty cannot be traded with food sovereignty

Newly elected European Association of Fish Producers Organisations (EAPO) President, Esben Sverdrup-Jensen has told members at the Annual General Meeting that energy sovereignty cannot be traded with food sovereignty.

EAPO held its highly anticipated Annual General Meeting (AGM) in The Hague and Amsterdam on 21 and 22 September 2023, and the event was hosted by Dutch member-POs.

This year’s AGM was organised around the topic of Maritime Spatial Planning, the recently agreed Nature Restoration Law, the Kunming-Montreal Agreement and the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive all put tremendous pressure on maritime space, including key fishing grounds and nursery- and spawning areas for crucial ecosystem elements.

Nederlandse Visserbond gave a presentation on the dramatic evolution of access to fishing areas from 2000 to 2030. This was followed by a scientific presentation highlighting the physical effects of offshore windfarms in the North Sea.

“The unlawful invasion of Ukraine by Russia has put energy independence and offshore windfarm development on top of the EU agenda.” Esben Sverdrup-Jensen, EAPO President, highlighted.

“Rapid electrification of our power supply comes with a very high price, not only for fisheries and fisheries dependent coastal communities, but also for the productivity of our ecosystems. We need to strike a balance and find ways for co-existence. Otherwise, the price for energy sovereignty will be the loss of food sovereignty and our ability to feed our own people.”

eapo energy food sovereignty

EAPO members who attended the AGM. Photo: EAPO

During the AGM, members approved the Annual Report for 2022 and the Budget for 2023.

EAPO announced the results of the Bureau elections with Esben Sverdrup Jensen, (Danish Pelagic PO) re-elected as President.

Yves Foëzon (OP Les Pêcheurs de Bretagne) will continue his role as Treasurer and Irene Prieto (OPPF-4 Vigo) has been appointed as Secretary.

The Belgian PO Rederscentrale continues as Secretariat, with Emiel Brouckaert as Secretary-General and fourth member of the Bureau.

The EAPO Executive Committee consists of the Bureau members, the Working Group Chairs and other members annually elected by the General Assembly.

“I am grateful for the continued trust placed in me by my fellow members. My previous term underscored the vital role of Producers Organisations as a bridge between the EU-institutions, national fisheries authorities and the approximately 3.700 vessel owners represented by EAPO.” Esben Sverdrup-Jensen stated.

“The aim of this term is to build on the very strong position of EU POs to both clear and create the legislative and structural path for accelerating the green transition in fisheries. Although we already produce some of the healthiest and most climate friendly proteins available, the potentials in decarbonization and emission free fishing are massive. I cannot wait to get started.”

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