The Low Impact Fishers of Europe is an umbrella organisation run by fishers for fishers. The aim of LIFE is to provide a clear and coherent voice at EU level for the previously mainly silent majority of European fishers, who are smaller scale and who use low impact fishing gears and methods, but have historically lacked dedicated and effective representation in Brussels and at Member State level.
LIFE represents those fishermen who tend to be smaller scale and have a low environmental impact but who at the same time have a high social and economic value within the communities they support and who support them. The owner usually works aboard, undertakes day trips, has low greenhouse gas emissions per kilo of fish landed and fishes in a sustainable manner. On this basis LIFE has developed a Mission Statement that clearly illustrates the ethos, aims and aspirations of the organisation.
There is a growing recognition by lower impact, smaller scale fishermen across Europe, and in fact further afield, that it is now absolutely vital to have specific and dedicated representation to champion their cause and ensure the long term sustainability and survival of their activities. An important part of this approach is an effective and focussed presence at EU level. In addition, LIFE will not only speak for its members in Brussels and elsewhere, but will also assist and support them to be heard in person at every level.
Fishing always seems to be at some sort of crossroads or other and the current situation is no different. What is different is that for the first time, smaller scale, low impact fishers across the EU have the chance to be heard and, through LIFE, make a real difference to if and how they can survive and prosper in the years ahead.