Overall objectives/mission

The Consortium for Fair Fisheries Agreements (CFFA) is working for fundamental change in the EC’s policy towards fisheries agreements with countries in the South (ACP states and others). In particular CFFA is concerned that agreements between the EC and countries of the South should:

_ Be based on principals of equity and social justice.

_ Prioritise the use of fisheries resources to sustain and develop fishing communities (both in the North and the South).

_ Maximise the contribution of the fisheries sector to the broader social and economic development in the countries concerned.

_ Ensure the sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources, with fishing effort and catch levels regulated within sustainable limits.

_ Safeguard the rights of workers in the fishing and fish processing industries to reasonable wages, and safe and adequate working conditions.

_ Ensure that adequate prices are paid for fish procured in the South, so that a decent return is provided to local fishworkers and the livelihoods of European fishworkers are not undermined by the supply of cheap foreign fish.

The narrow perspective of current EC Fisheries Agreements, based principally on obtaining access in exchange for financial remuneration, contradicts and undermines the ECs stated development and resource management policies. It is the ECs stated policy to reduce the capacity of its fishing fleet in line with the volume of authorised catch limits, and although development, conservation and sustainable exportation of stocks form part of this policy, they do not yet form part of the EC’s fisheries agreement negotiating agenda. Unless these issues are incorporated into fisheries agreements, the process of stock depletion, which is now well advanced en the EC’s own waters, will rapidly overwhelm the fishing zones of countries in the South.

Immediate/medium term objectives

_ To develop a strategy which will enable CFFA to influence the formulation of fisheries agreements in line with its long term objectives. This strategy will enable the CFFA to interphase effectively with decision takers in the European Parliament, in the European Commission, in the Governments for individual countries (member nations of the EEC and partner fishing nations), the fishing industry and development organisations. The strategy will involve undertaking a variety of activities and targeting published material at a variety of audiences through various media, such as:

_ Deriving information from scientists and informed persons which can be used to promote changes in current policy.

_ Producing well informed and articulated papers for specific decision takers (in the European Parliament, EC, etc.).

_ Publishing articles in various media to influence public opinion, and stimulate debate.

_ Organising international meetings between policy makers, industry representatives, and fishing community representatives to increase mutual understanding and respect.

_ To monitor and to try and influence the outcome of at least 3 Fisheries Agreements over the next (2- 5?) years. These will include Senegal, Namibia and another state (possibly Mozambique).

_ To expand the number of organisations participating in CFFA, so as to include organisations through out EEC Member States.

I know this runs to a few more sentences than 3, but I got carried away! However a Mission Statement might be worded something like:

The Consortium for Fair Fisheries Agreements (CFFA) is working towards influencing fundamental changes in the EC’s policy towards fisheries agreements with countries in the South (ACP States and others). Their particular concern is the sustainable use of fish resources for the benefit of fishing communities who depend on them for their livelihoods and subsistence. Fisheries Agreements have the potential to undermine or to support this objective!