Quote Originally Posted by fishnewseu
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 09:06

THE North Sea Regional Advisory Council (NSRAC) has appointed an officer of the European Anglers Alliance (EAA) as chairman of its General Assembly.

Jan Willem Wijnstroom was elected at the annual meeting of the General Assembly last week, hosted by the Dutch Fisheries Sector in IJmuiden, Netherlands.

He is policy officer for the EAA and an active member of NSRAC, where he represents the interests of some three million members.

He thanked outgoing chairman Patrice Leduc for five years service to NSRAC and presented him with a ceramic plate with Dutch freshwater fish images.

Luc Corbusier, from the Foundation for Sustainable Fishery Development (SDVO) in Belgium, was elected as vice-chair.

Sweden’s Hugo Andersson was re-elected as chairman of the NSRAC Executive Committee for another term, and Mike Park and Christien Absil were re-elected as vice chairs.

The Executive Committee also gave consensus approval to a Technical Regulation for the Skagerrak-Kattegat.

Presentations were given at the General Assembly by Tom Blasdale and Charlotte Johnston of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, who spoke about plans for the UK Marine Protected Area Network and the consultation process for Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs).

The NSRAC was asked to contribute to the process to ensure that local fishing activities are not negatively impacted.

Rapporteur Tony Hawkins reviewed the work of the NSRAC during the preceding year, and looked at priorities for 2009/2010 to improve fisheries sustainability.

He also noted that members expressed profound sorrow over the death of Flemming Kristensen, of the Danish Fishermen’s Association, who contributed so much to the work of the NSRAC.

The findings of a review of the work of the NSRAC were given by Doug Wilson from IFM Denmark, who reported it had achieved important successes, that its long term efficiency was good, and its political legitimacy increasing.

Jan Willem Wijnstroom said: “The world of fisheries has become more and more complicated and stakeholder representation and cooperation is necessary to engage in all the challenges that we are confronted with today.

“I think that NSRAC has demonstrated very well that we are more than willing to engage in these challenges and that we deserve support from the Commission and member states to go on with our mission to achieve the objectives of the CFP and a sustainable use of our public marine resources.

“It is good to have our meeting here, where commercial fisheries, recreational angling, and other traditional and new marine activities take place. All play an important role in the social and economic welfare of this Dutch coastal region.”

Ann Bell, Director and Executive Secretary of the NSRAC said: “I am very pleased Jan Willem has been elected as chairman of the NSRAC General Assembly.

“This appointment demonstrates there is good cooperation between all members of the NSRAC; they may not always agree, but they can respect each other’s opinions when trying to reach consensus.”

The NSRAC is the formal channel for stakeholders to provide suggestions and advice to the EC and the Council of Ministers on fishing in the North Sea.

The Regional Advisory Councils, who are now all operational, are a key element of the 2002 reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

They aim for better engagement of the people the policy affects and for more regionally-focused fisheries management.