The North Western Waters Advisory Council (NWWAC) is a representative and legitimate EU fisheries stakeholder body which is legally recognised as an organisation pursuing an aim of general European interest. It is established in Ireland and produces regular advice on its own initiative or at the request of the European Commission and the concerned Member States on all relevant matters related to fisheries management in the EC offshore waters within the EEZ of Ireland and France (ICES areas 6 and 7).
Essentially, the NWWAC is an open forum for dialogue between the fishing sector (both industrial and small scale fleets, with representatives of catching and processing sectors and trade unions) and other groups of interest, including environmental NGOs, consumers representatives, recreational anglers and civil society.
The European Commission has recently acknowledged that the current Advisory Councils have been one of the main achievements of the Common Fisheries Policy in 2002, allowing better access to information and helping to improve understanding of decision making at European level. In addition, the ACs have also contributed to create regional networks where experiences and ideas circulate more readily across stakeholders and public in general across the Atlantic Arc.
The principal aim of the NWWAC is to bring together stakeholders from across its European member countries to advise the Commission on matters of fisheries management in respect of the North Western Waters - ICES areas VI and VII.
The NWWAC is one of eleven Advisory Councils, advising on, the Baltic Sea; Mediterranean Sea; North Sea; South-Western Waters; Pelagic stocks; High seas/long distant water fleets; Black Sea; Aquaculture; Markets; and Outermost Regions.
Regional Advisory Councils were first proposed during the review of the Common Fisheries Policy in 2002 as a method of ensuring greater stakeholder involvement in the policy making processes of fisheries management.
The North Western Waters Regional Advisory Council (NWWRAC) was established in September 2005 in accordance with Council Decision 2004/585/EC, which set out a common framework for Regional Advisory Councils.
With the entry into force of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013, on the Common Fisheries Policy, since the 1st of January 2014 the Regional Advisory Councils changed their name to Advisory Councils (ACs) to encomprise all topics such as Aquaculture or Markets.
Emiel Brouckaert, CEO of the Rederscentrale, is the current Chair of the NWWAC, chairing both the Executive Committee and the General Assembly for a term of 3 years (until 30 September 2024). The three Vice-Chairs for the Executive Committee are:
BIM, Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency, is the current host of the Secretariat and is based in Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, Ireland.
View a map of the NWWAC area