A significant step was taken by the European Parliament today (06/02/2013) to reform the Common Fisheries Policy. These reforms will set legally binding measures to end discards and overfishing and rebuild Europe’s fish stocks. This move was welcomed by ALDE MEPs as the fishing industry faces not only an ecological disaster but also an economic and social one.
Pat the Cope Gallagher (FF, Ireland), ALDE Coordinator on the Fisheries Committee said ”I am pleased with the decisions taken today. The fishing, processing and aquaculture sectors create and maintain jobs in rural, coastal and small island communities, where there is often no source of alternative employment. In the last 10 years tens of thousands of jobs have been lost from the sector in the EU. We have a collective duty to these communities to ensure a long term future based on clear environmental, economic and social principles.”
He also welcomed the decision to move the day to day management of multi-annual plans to regional authorities, ”A move to regional management structures would create many positive benefits including increased responsibility on the part of stakeholders and the establishment of a Common Fisheries Policy more sensitive to local concerns.”
Nils Torvalds, (Svenska folkpartiet, Finland) welcomed the ban on discards and supports the measures introduced to rebuild the fish stocks. ”Two third of the European fish stocks are overfished today. This reform will end the unacceptable practice of throwing millions of tonnes of perfectly good fish back into the sea and will allow our fish stocks to recover based on advise from both scientists and fishermen. The historic vote today will help to make fishing more profitable again, provide a livelihood for fishermen and most importantly – ensure that there will be more fish in our seas.”