EU Parliament undermines CFP reform

Reuters reports, 28th April 2015: “European lawmakers have backed reforms meant to end decades of over-fishing, but critics said unscrupulous fishermen would be able to carry on throwing away perfectly good fish because of a glaring loophole.

“The European Union in 2013 agreed to reform the bloc’s common fisheries policy in an attempt to rebuild fish stocks.

“Included in the reforms was a massive reduction in the practice known as discarding, which has seen European fishermen throw almost 2 million tonnes of unwanted fish back into the sea each year — often dead or dying — as they seek to fill EU quotas with the most valuable species.

Tuesday’s vote [28th April 2015] in the European Parliament in Strasbourg concerned rules on discarding.

Although passed, Green politicians opposed them.

They said that a concession that fishermen could continue to dump fish damaged by predators was a major loophole because it would be up to fishermen to decide whether fish were damaged.

Swedish member of the Green party Linnea Engstrom said the new rules “totally undercut the ban on discards and essentially give fishermen carte blanche to continue with the wasteful practice”.

“Our common concern is to preserve fisheries resources while maintaining a viable economy. The agreement we have found helps mitigate some of the negative effects of the new rules for fishermen,” said French politician Alain Cadec, from the main centre-right European People’s Party grouping.

France and Spain, which have among the largest fishing fleets in the EU, have been at the forefront of nations arguing for more flexibility for fishermen.

Source: Reuters, 28th April 2015. For the full text, see

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