Late night deal on fisheries lacks decisive action on fish stocks
Political compromise risks continuing malaise of fishing communities
(Brussels, Belgium) Early this morning negotiations between the Irish Presidency and the European Parliament concluded with an agreement on the basic regulation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). While some parts of the deal are required, WWF is concerned that some key issues are being ignored such as the decisive action badly needed to replenish seriously depleted fish stocks.
Despite Trojan efforts to reach a deal on this issue by MEP Ulrike Rodust and her parliamentary negotiating team, the Irish Presidency, representing a divided Council, led by Member States with large fishing industries, preferred to defend a business as usual approach that might delay stock recoveries. The new EU-CFP reform cannot continue the 40 year pattern of negotiations and self-congratulation by politicians, while fish stocks continue to decline.
The European Parliament and Mrs Rodust’s negotiating team and the Irish Presidency should be commended for their endeavour to provide a real transition to a sustainable CFP despite the Fisheries Council inability to support ambitious goals. The agreement includes some positive elements but fails to end overfishing over the next generations. The new deal needs to become a legal framework that helps reverse the current frenzied grab for threatened fish, the overcapacity of fishing fleets and a regime whereby the industry is forced into noncompliance.
Quote: Tony Long, Director of the European Policy Office:
"WWF acknowledges the constructive role played by the European Parliament in its attempt to bring about a deal that would reinvigorate a failed fisheries policy. While almost two-thirds of the assessed fish stocks in the EU are overexploited and many fishermen face bankruptcy, the majority of EU’s governments have decided to stonewall negotiations and have refused to accept an agreement that would allow a full recovery and increased income for fishermen within the next 10 years.”
“Even if the new Common Fisheries Policy does not address the deep problem of overcapacity, WWF hopes that we do not return to the old wasteful way of managing EU’s fish stocks. We will continue to ensure that fishermen, and stakeholders, with the support of the scientific community, will have a decisive say over how the industry is run."
"We call on all concerned stakeholders to quickly start working within the new legislative framework for Multi-Annual Plans (MAPs) - to be drawn up and implemented urgently. MAPs need to become the backbone of the new CFP. They must be framed to deliver on the most urgent needs for fish stocks and the marine environment recovery. We also hope that the new CFP provides the basis for forging a truly sustainable foreign dimension for the EU's fleets. While negotiating partnership agreement with Third Countries, the EU shall act in line with international commitments, obligations and policy objectives to achieve sustainable fishing operations outside EU's waters".
Media & Communications,
WWF European Policy Office,
Tel: +32 476 25 68 79
WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
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