Pelagic deal struck
01 Sep 2016
P&P’s pelagic vesel Maartje Theodora ROS-171
Dutch pelagic operators have struck an agreement with Greenpeace and have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the objective of achieving sustainable pelagic fisheries and a healthy balance between fisheries and the marine environment.
Under the agreement, the Dutch operators, represented by the Pelagic Freezer-trawler Association (PFA), will not expand activities into unfished areas of the Arctic and Antarctic.
‘We have come to a sound set of agreements on issues such as the collection of scientific data and on how to contribute to an effective regional fisheries management in West Africa,’ said PFA director Gerard Balsfoort, commenting that this collaboration between Greenpeace and a fishing body is unique.
‘I consider this as very positive and as a recognition of our efforts and our ambitions expressed in this MoU. This is important for fishermen, marine nature and a sustainable future,’ he said.
‘This is an important step for sustainable fisheries,’ said departing Greenpeace director Sylvia Borren. ‘We have agreed that PFA will not enter into fishing in the Arctic and Antarctic areas. We also will co-operate on the improvement of fisheries management of pelagic resources. We are happy to support the PFA in achieving these ambitions.’
Under the MoU, the role played by the PFA in collecting scientific data and conducting scientific research into pelagic resources is recognised, as well as its efforts in avoiding by-catch, improving selectivity and minimising impacts on the marine ecosystem. The PFA’s work to contribute to effective fisheries management in all regions where members of the PFA have pelagic fishing operations is also recognised.
As well as the agreement to refrain from fishing in Arctic and Antarctic regions, the parties agree work together on improving regional fisheries management in West Africa.
PFA and Greenpeace will maintain an ongoing dialogue on all issues listed in the MoU and the duration of the agreement is set at ten years.
Both Greenpeace and the PFA express their appreciation for the constructive role played by the Dutch employer’s organization VNO-NCW as mediator and adviser during the discussions that led to this MOU.