Fisheries reform: Commission welcomes creation of first stakeholder-led Advisory Council
The European Commission has welcomed the creation of the North SeaRegional Advisory Council (NSRAC) in Edinburgh (Scotland) today. This is the first of seven stakeholder-led advisory bodies to be created to give the fishing industry and other interested parties a greater say in the way fisheries are managed in the areas they cover. These innovative bodies will provide a permanent framework linking stakeholders at the regional and local level and the Commission and the Member States concerned. They will enable the fishing sector to work more closely with scientists in collating reliable data and discussing ways of improving scientific advice. They will also provide a forum for the fishing industry to enter into a dialogue and to work with other interested parties on identifying options regarding the management of specific fisheries. RAcs will submit recommendations and suggestions on any aspects of the fisheries they cover to the Commission and the Member States concerned. The creation of RACs was one of the pillars of the 2002 reform of the Common Fisheries Policy in response to the EU and stakeholders’ desire to increase the latter’s participation in the CFP process. Moves are underway to set up the other six RACs.