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Last modified: 08 February 2013
Image: Nick Upton
Today, Members of the European Parliament have for the first time voted on legislative reforms to the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), a once in a decade opportunity to improve EU fisheries. The vote represents a major step; moving towards an end to the practice of overfishing that has decimated fish stocks throughout the EU. The Parliament voted for an end to discards and an end to over-fishing by 2015 and for the recovery of fish stocks by 2020. This could be the most significant step towards ensuring the future sustainability of EU fish stocks and for the long-term stability of the EU fishing fleet in a generation.
Marguerite Tarzia from the NIMTF commented “We welcome these ambitious reforms, which will have an impact on fisheries management in our local seas, all the way to EU and beyond. From a Northern Ireland perspective, the Parliament’s vote on preferential quotas for small scale fishing vessels (less than 12m) will no doubt be welcomed by many in the inshore fishing sector, as approximately 3 in 5 NI fishing vessels are under 10m. Locally we are supportive of moves towards regionalizing elements of the policy. We applaud the setting of dates to achieve maximum sustainable yield for EU fisheries, as this has been a long time coming. We believe this is a positive step forward to achieving key targets for Good Environmental Status under another EU policy- the Marine Strategy Framework.”
“The European Parliament’s fisheries vote could help end 30 years of failed fisheries management. What we want now is to see statements of good intent translated into affirmative action and we will be following the next stage of the process closely, as EU fisheries ministers in the Council negotiate with the EU parliament over today’s vote”
To find out more about the CFP go to www.ocean2012.eu/
To find out more about the NIMTF go to: www.nimtf.org