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H Sandra Vlietinck and husband Danny gave the tour of their Z 483 'Jasmine' (top).​ Hilde Crevits and Pedro Rappé with EU authorities.

'Had the whole of Europe on board'

Click on the flag for more information about Belgium BELGIUM
Monday, April 01, 2024, 01:00 (GMT + 9)

The following is an excerpt from an article published by Visserijnieuws:

ZEEBRUGGE – Selective fishing with larger meshes and fuel savings. Shipowner Danny Vlietinck emphasized this when last Monday the fisheries ministers of almost all EU member states received a tour on his Z 483. The visit was part of an informal Fisheries Council, organized by the current Belgian Presidency of the European Union.

Last Tuesday's formal Agriculture and Fisheries Council was almost exclusively about agriculture, but the preceding informal Council on Sunday and Monday in Bruges and Zeebrugge focused on (getting to know) today's fisheries. Belgian Fisheries Minister Hilde Crevits, as President of the Fisheries Council, has taken the opportunity to show all her European colleagues the importance of fishing, not only for coastal communities but for the entire European Union.

The program started with a boat trip through the canals of Bruges, followed by a shrimp peeling workshop led by champion peelers Nadine Deetens and Chantal Goes with (expensive!) shrimp from Nieuwpoort and a private dinner.

According to his spokesperson, Minister Adema of LNV had priorities elsewhere; Donné Slangen, Director General of Nature and Fisheries at LNV, took his place. Last Tuesday, Adema was present at the (formal) Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Brussels.

H In the mess room of the Z 483, Pedro Rappé talks about the benefits of digitalization on the fishing fleet.

Fisheries policy evaluation

On Monday morning, the ministers met at the Meeting & Convention Center in Bruges to exchange views with each other and with representatives of the European Commission and the European Parliament on a fisheries policy that can respond to the rapidly changing external circumstances (climate, energy transition, Brexit, geopolitics). ) and internal obstacles (spatial planning at sea, stricter European environmental and fisheries legislation, increasing administrative burdens). Fishermen and fishing representatives expressed their concerns in videos.

European Fisheries Commissioner Sinkevicius reported at the press conference that he has asked his services to make a full evaluation of the common fisheries policy, which was welcomed by Crevits. "European policy has a major impact on our fishing and aquaculture sector. The announcement to evaluate the entire regulation on the common fisheries policy is welcomed by the ministers. This evaluation must certainly also be done in close consultation with our fishermen. We must instill confidence in our fishing industry and guide them through the challenges ahead. The Member States therefore request the urgent removal of all legal or financial bottlenecks in the EU policy framework that stand in the way of further sustainability of the fishing sector," Crevits said in a statement.

H The European fisheries ministers are receiving training in peeling North Sea shrimps

New construction

After the two sessions, the group photo, press conference and lunch, it was time for an introduction to practice, with 'the Belgian assets', in this case the Z 483 'Jasmine'. Ship owner Danny Vlietinck and wife Sandra were given the opportunity to guide two teams of twenty each for an hour, through the entire cutter. "I had the whole of Europe on board!", says an enthusiastic Vlietinck, who emphasized innovation, selective fishing and fuel savings during the tours.[continues...]

Read the full story here (only available in Flemish)

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