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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
Cod stocks recovery plan: MEPs call for an end to all discards
In their response to the European Commission's latest cod recovery plan, MEPs today called for all cod caught to be landed, rather than discarded, so as to enable proper scientific evaluation of stocks. They also agreed to the inclusion of the Celtic Sea (south of the Irish Sea) in the cod recovery plan. In a second vote, on fishing in outermost regions of the EU, MEPs propose extending until 2011 the deadline for fishing vessels receiving national state aid to enter the fishing fleet.
Rapporteur on cod stock recovery, Niels Busk (ALDE, DK) emphasised that the purpose of the proposed changes in the cod recovery plan is to see cod stocks restored within five to ten years. In Monday evening's debate, he spoke of the problem of illegal fishing: "It is a disgrace to the fishing stock, it is a disgrace to the fishing industry, it is an outrage against society as a whole, and the European Parliament has emphasised this time and time again."
Commissioner Borg said that he would shortly be following up with a proposal for a European regulation on reducing discards.
Among the proposals made by the European Parliament in its response to the cod recovery plan:
* all cod caught to be landed, rather than discarded, so as to ensure proper scientific evaluation of stocks;
* Member States as well as fishermen themselves should be encouraged to bring in measures to reduce fish mortality and discards;
* The 15% +/- margin for Total Allowable Catch, established the previous year, should be generally applicable;
* 2004-2006 should be used as reference years, rather than 2005-2007, to ensure the highest quality and reliability of data;
* Cod killed by seals, and the impact of climate change are mentioned as 'other relevant sources of cod mortality'.
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