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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
Euro MPs vote for crucial fishing policy reform
The first significant step towards reforming the Common Fisheries Policy came yesterday when the European Parliament voted for a major overhaul of most of its policies including a demand to an end of management from Brussels. MEPs also call for the creation of a strong aquaculture sector and an eco-labelling system.
They also said that the overhaul should take better account of the huge differences across European fleets and fisheries, give greater responsibility to fishing regions, address the problem of fleet overcapacity and improve the traditional quota system, according to a non-binding report adopted by the European Parliament .
A report presented to MEPs also warned that failure to adopt it could lead to being neither fish nor a fishing industry in the future. It said that fisheries management must abandon the traditional "top-down approach", instead emphasising regionalisation, subsidiarity and stakeholder involvement, to reflect the local particularities of Europe's seas and fleets, say MEPs.
MEPs also urge the Commission to work for a separate, less bureaucratic model for managing small-scale and coastal fisheries and to improve their access to the European Fisheries Fund. The report recognised that the special situation of the outermost regions may justify positive discrimination in some areas, in particular as regards fleet modernisation.
They asked Commission to consider carefully possible new management models to complement the traditional system of total allowable catches (TACs), of which each Member State gets an annual national quota. This should pave the way for phasing out discards of unwanted by-catches. MEPs view discards as an unsustainable practice which should be eliminated by means of both positive and negative incentives, including discard bans if incentives prove insufficient.
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Political processes/EU Common Fisheries Policy