David Levy – The Aftermath of CFP Reform – Mar 2014

The current crop of TV and radio current affairs programmes are concentrating on the centenary review of the First World War and what has been learnt — was it justified, and who was at fault for its cause ?

This resonates with me on several levels, but I want to concentrate on one particular aspect that dovetails into the 2013/2014 reforms of the CFP (Common Fisheries Policy) and EMFF (European Maritime and Fisheries Fund).

The most optimistic view of the outcome of these reforms is now being expounded by parties who were involved in the debate. These are advanced by the “there is cause for hope” camp.

I have been astonished to have heard these utterances from those we were close to during the campaign, and who were arguing for something better than the lowest common denominator. Now that the CFP/EMFF has been put to bed, some have abandoned their principled positions and are joining the rhetoric of “let’s pull together.”

They may be doing so due to a desire for optimism.

They may be doing so because they believe any change is a good change.

Likewise they may believe that the fishing industry has learnt its lesson and things will improve.

They may believe in enforcement, or they may just be self-motivated and have a desire to get on board with the authorities who often provide the money for research, membership to quangos and appointments to on-going monitoring bodies. Therefore don’t rock the boat.

Marinet has ploughed a lonely furrow in its advocacy of significant alterations based on sound science and the eco-system approach to conservation. And now, at this time of CFP Reform conclusions, I have felt compelled to review what the outcomes have failed to deliver.

I was able to give this prominence when I recently attended the “Castle Debate” in London and to put down in writing to the chair, Pamela Castle OBE, Marinet’s continuing concerns. Please read this article as it raises the concerns we should all be engaged with.

The point about the First World War is that if more consideration had been given to the peace terms — Versailles Treaty — then maybe, just maybe if we had understood what was missing the Second World War could have been avoided. Certainly the causes of the rise of Adolf Hitler could have been avoided.

Are we making similar miscalculations and errors now in the outcome from CFP/EMFF Reform ? Time for serious reflection by us all.

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