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Press releases

Commissioner Maria Damanaki

Commissioner Damanaki visiting Cyprus


Commissioner Damanaki is on a two-day visit to Cyprus, to discuss the preparation of the EU presidency in the field of maritime affairs and fisheries for the second semester of 2012, when Cyprus will be in office, confirming the envisaged strong cooperation between the Cypriot and Commission services in this framework.

Commissioner Damanaki highlighted the excellent spirit of cooperation between the Commission and the Cypriot Department for Fisheries and praised the Cypriot administration for the quality of its work in effectively making use of resources available under the European Fisheries Fund.



Putting an end to discards: stakeholders hearing on 3 May


The issue of ending discards continues to be high on my agenda. After a meeting with Member States and Members of the European Parliament and the Court of Auditors pdf - 37 KB [37 KB] on March 1st, I would like to hear the opinions of stakeholders on this. An exchange of views will be held in Brussels on the afternoon of May 3rd 2011.

Details and online registration


Meeting African coastal fishermen: direct witness of global overfishing


Commissioner Maria Damanaki met today Mr Ismael  Lebaye from Mauritania and Mr Ameth Wade from Senegal, at the initiative of Greenpeace. The two fishermen presented to the Commissioner their direct experience about effects of overfishing on coastal communities.

Commissioner Damanaki stated: "EU vessels will have to be subject to the same clear rules when they fish in international waters as when they fish at home.  We can only afford to fish sustainably. I am working on a reform of our common fisheries policy which will bring about a new generation of Fisheries Partnership Agreements which will be sustainable and will respect human rights and support the activities of local fishermen. I have invited all ministers from countries we have fisheries partnerships with on the 13th of May to discuss these issues"


'Who Says I can't Fish?' with Commissioner Damanaki on BBC World Service Radio


Restrictions on commercial fishing in Europe were put in place to aid sustainability, but are they still appropriate? Charlotte Smith reports on the British perspective from the northen English town of Scarborough, on BBC World Service Radio today.


Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Luxembourg: review of fishing effort management in Western Waters under the reform and freshwater aquaculture and inland fishery on the agenda


The Agriculture and Fisheries Council meets in Luxembourg. The Council hold a debate on the Commission's Communication on the review of the Western Waters regime , adopted in November 2010. The Western Waters regime is a very large-scale effort management system covering bottom fisheries (except deep-sea fisheries) in the North-East Atlantic, excluding the North Sea. Also, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Luxembourg and Slovakia presented a Joint Declaration on the future role of the freshwater aquaculture and inland fishery within the CFP reform.

Commissioner Maria Damanaki thanked the Hungarian Presidency and, in the margin of the Council, stated: "The Western Waters regime is very important and needs to be adopted to secure sustainability of our stocks". She added: "We are going to do our best to boost the aquaculture sector, in the framework of our proposal for the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. We need to develop more aquaculture projects, as fish is a particularly healthy and nutrient product and there is an increasing demand, which is now covered largely through imports. This means that the sector has the potential to grow and create jobs, in line with the Europe 2020 strategy. Finally, aquaculture is an alternative to overfishing and therefore can be seen as a conservation measure".

Watch the press conference


Europeans want a reformed Fisheries Policy


Europeans want a reformed Fisheries Policy.
We are working on a proposal for a changed policy which will hopefully meet their demands.

Maria Damanaki,
European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

WWF press release "A big appetite for sustainable fish"


New zero-tolerance EU rules against illegal fishing


The EU has now the means to break with the past and establish a real culture of compliance to stop overfishing and help make EU fisheries truly sustainable. The new rules detail on how to carry out controls throughout the market chain "from net to plate", ensuring traceability and allowing Member states' authorities to spot wrongdoings at any point and trace them back to the culprit.

Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki said: "If we can't enforce our own rules, this undermines the credibility of the whole common fisheries policy, no matter how sound it may be. We now have a comprehensive system of control and enforcement and I expect compliance with EU fishing rules to improve from now on."


Maritime affairs and fisheries

Commissioner Damanaki at the European Parliament © Photo European Union
Commissioner Maria Damanaki intervenes at the European Parliament Plenary debate


Commissioner Maria Damanaki intervenes at the plenary debate of the European Parliament pdf - 42 KB [42 KB] in Strasbourg on the Protocol relating to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement with Comoros, on the amendment of the Regulation establishing Community financial measures for the implementation of the CFP and in the area of the Law of the Sea, on the amendment of the Regulation establishing transitional technical measures from 1 January 2010 to 30 June 2011 and on the imports in the EU of fisheries products from Greenland. 

Watch the Commissioner's intervention and the question time


Extraordinary European Parliament PECH Committee meeting: "structured dialogue" with the Commission on the political and legislative priorities for 2012


Extracts from the intervention of Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries at the extraordinary meeting of the European Parliament PECH Committee, dedicated to the so-called "structured dialogue" with the Commission, on the political and legislative priorities for 2012: reform of the European Common Fisheries Policy (discussion in College on 13 July 2011),  long term management plans and response to the nuclear accident in Japan. 


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