The topics discussed during the visit of Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki in Finland on 10–11 March 2011 included the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and rules of the European Fisheries Fund for the next programming period, as well as the development of aquaculture and small-scale coastal fisheries.
In the discussions Minister Sirkka-Liisa Anttila emphasised two issues relating to the fisheries policy: the importance of a regional approach and the specific nature and needs of small-scale fisheries.
Finland considers it important that the new fisheries policy allows for regional solutions, based on the special features of different marine areas. In the Baltic Sea region there is a long tradition with very encouraging experiences of regional collaboration in fisheries, which now has been relaunched at the Baltic fisheries forum BALTFISH.
To promote the interests of small-scale fisheries the new fisheries policy should allow more flexibility for regional decision-making and action. The EU should avoid giving rules and regulations that cause unnecessary difficulties for the supply of local fish derived from small-scale fisheries. For example, lifting the capacity restrictions in case of fishing vessels which are less than 12 metres long would facilitate the operating conditions and bring new fishermen to the sector.
As regards the rules of the new Fisheries Fund, Minister Anttila stresses the importance of supporting sustainable primary production in fisheries. The key priorities in this include the development of infrastructure and promoting sustainable innovations. To secure the continuity of fishing operations the Minister proposed a model that would support inter-generation transfers of fishing estates and enterprises. The importance of sustainable aquaculture for the primary production of fish, and its future opportunities were also underlined.
Minister Anttila also raised certain issues that are particularly important for Finland, such as preventing damages to fisheries caused by seals and cormorants and maintaining the fisheries insurance system. Furthermore, Minister Anttila emphasised that the control of the longline fishery for salmon in the Main Basin of the Baltic Sea should be intensified. The number of undersized salmon in the longline fishery should be assessed and, where necessary, corresponding rapid action should be taken, for example, to shorten the fishing season.
Mr Orian Bondestam, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 (0)400 392 011