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Commercial Fishing



Advisory Councils organise major event in Dublin Castle to celebrate 20 years in existence. The North Western Waters Advisory Council (NWWAC) and the Pelagic Advisory Council (PelAC) are proud to announce their joint celebratory event marking the 20th anniversary of the creation of (Regional) Advisory Councils in the Common Fishery Policy. The event, ‘The future of EU fisheries and regionalisation in the Northeast Atlantic’, scheduled for March 14, 2024, at Dublin Castle, will celebrate the work of the ACs over the past two decades and aims to develop a positive roadmap for the future within the scope of regionalisation.

Emiel Brouckaert, Chair of the NWWAC, and Sean O Donoghue Chair of the PelAC commented:

“This jointly hosted celebratory event is very timely to take stock of where we are in the aftermath of Brexit and to develop a roadmap for enhancing the role of Advisory Councils. This includes strengthening regionalisation in order to meet the very significant challenges for the future of the fisheries sector such as climate change and energy transition.”

Sean O’Donoghue specified:

“Over the last twenty years the Pelagic Advisory Council has been at the forefront in making unanimous sustainable management recommendations for the pelagic stocks under its remit and in promoting innovative techniques such as genetics to use in stock assessment. I look forward to a fruitful discussion and outcome to our celebratory event.”

Emiel Brouckaert added:

“Recent developments and crisis situations have emphasised the need for quality stakeholder advice to (EU) Fishery Policy Makers and Managers. In this respect the NWWAC focuses on a regional approach to address the complexity for the NWW demersal fishers to reach their social, economic and environmental sustainability objectives.”

Since their inception, the NWWAC and PelAC have been recognised as key stakeholders in the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).  These Councils have brought together and aligned views of the fishing industry, environmental NGOs and other civil society organisations, fostering dialogue, building trust, and integrating stakeholder knowledge into decision-making processes ensuring sustainable management of marine resources in the Northeast Atlantic.

High-profile participants, including representatives from EU institutions, Member States, and the ACs membership, will gather to engage in meaningful discussions on the evolving landscape of fisheries management and regionalisation. The event programme features a panel discussion with distinguished speakers, such as Charlina Vitcheva, Director-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (European Commission), a representative of the Belgian Presidency of Fisheries Ministries Council, the Presidency of the North Western Waters Member States High-Level Group and the chairs of both hosting ACs.

The anniversary celebration not only marks a milestone reflecting on the Councils’ achievements of the past two decades, but looks forward to enhancing the role of ACs and regionalisation while forging a path towards a more resilient and prosperous future for Europe’s fisheries and coastal communities.

As we look ahead to the future of EU fisheries, the NWWAC and PelAC remain committed to fostering dialogue, collaboration, consensus-building and sustainable practices for the benefit of present and future generations.

The event is co-funded by the European Union and sponsored by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Killybeg’s Fishermen’s Organisation (KFO), Irish South & West Fish Producers Organisation (ISWFPO), Irish south & East Fish Producers Organisation (ISEFPO), Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO), Pelagic Freezer Trawler Association (FPTA), and Danmarks Pelagiske Producentorganisation (DPPO). More details about the event, including the programme can be found at nwwac.org.