PONG-Pesca – Platform of Portuguese NGOs on Fisheries

The idea for this platform first came up during the Workshop on the Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) held by Seas at Risk (SAR) at the Luso-American Development Foundation, in Lisbon on 21st of April 2009. The members of the Portuguese NGOs attending the event agreed that it would be crucial to take part in the wide-range debate about the reform of the CFP, and that it would be very interesting and possibly more effective to do so in a unified manner. Hence, after a series of meetings, the Platform of Portuguese NGOs on Fisheries (PONG-Pesca) was formed. Its mission is to promote the sustainable exploration of fishing resources, in all of its dimensions – ecological, social and economic – with the aim of attaining marine ecosystem preservation and the development of the coastal communities associated to the fisheries sector. Although its primary oobjective was to take part in reform of the CFP, the scope of the platform has broadened mainly because it has become clear to its participants that the NGOs are not considered relevant stakeholders in the national arena of fisheries. Therefore, PONG-Pesca coalition also wants to establish itself has a reference partner in the reflections and discussions on the Portuguese fisheries agenda.