Wednesday, 15 May 2013

EU fisheries ministers complete gruelling Common Fisheries Policy reform negotiations

EU Fisheries Ministers Complete Gruelling Common Fisheries Policy Reform Negotiations 

Brussels, 15 May 2013 - Early this morning European Union fisheries ministers concluded a two day meeting on reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, CFP. 

Ministers were meeting to revise the mandate of the Irish Presidency so it can conclude CFP reform negotiations with the European Parliament.

They agreed to important changes, some of which are going in the right direction with others going back on the Council’s previous position.

“We acknowledged that the Fisheries Council has made a move in the right direction by supporting the rebuilding of fish stocks,” said Siobhán Egan of BirdWatch Ireland and OCEAN2012. “However, ministers have not agreed to a target date by which fish stocks should be rebuilt. This will make setting fishing limits that will recover EU fish stocks without delay more difficult.”

“We also welcome the decision to make EU funding for fishing fleets conditional upon member States’ reporting on fleet capacity. However, the proposed text is weaker than Council’s draft position on the proposed EU Maritime and Fisheries Fund,” said Egan.

Millions of EU citizens support this reform and want to see an end to the misuse of taxpayers’ money and improvements in enforcement and fisheries control.

In February, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in support of a far-reaching CFP reform that would rebuild fish stocks without delay. EU fisheries ministers rejected this ambition and have struggled to agree a compromise position with the Parliament ever since.