EU Ministers reach general compromise on the main proposals for reforming the Common Fisheries Policy

The EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council met in Luxembourg, to address the main proposals for reforming the Common Fisheries Policy.

The Council reached a general compromise on the reform of the basic provisions of the Common Fisheries Policy and of the rules regarding the organisation of the markets in fishery and aquaculture products.

Commissioner Maria Damanaki, who represented the Commission at the Council meeting, stated: "The Council has moved a real step forward by endorsing Maximum Sustainable Yield (from 2015 and 2020 at the latest) and has subscribed to a real discard ban with clear end dates. These are great achievement of the Danish Presidency. It is a fact that the Commission proposal is more ambitious. It is now up to the European Parliament to give its view on the Commission proposal."

The proposal for reforming the basic provisions of the Common Fisheries Policy focuses on fishing sustainably. To this end, all stocks should be rebuilt to maximum sustainable yield (MSY) levels through conservation and better management through multi-annual plans, and by ending the practice of discards. Transferable fishing concessions are proposed, to help adjust the fleet capacity. The proposal stresses the importance of reliable and complete data for decision-making. The decision-making process should be more decentralised and take account of the regional specifics, to avoid micro-management at the EU level. Measures to support the aquaculture industry are also proposed.

The proposal on the Common Organisation of the Markets in fishery and aquaculture products aims to help achieve the goals of the Common Fisheries Policy, to make the industry more competitive and the markets more transparent, and to ensure a level playing field for all products marketed in the EU. It also aims to better inform the consumers through improved labelling of fishery and aquaculture products.

The objective of the new, reformed fisheries policy is to end overfishing and make fishing sustainable - environmentally, economically and socially.

The new policy aims to:
- bring fish stocks back to sustainable levels by setting fishing opportunities based on scientific advice,
- provide EU citizens with a stable, secure and healthy food supply for the long term,
- bring new prosperity to the fishing sector, end dependence on subsidies and create new opportunities for jobs and growth in coastal areas.

The Council Presidency also presented a progress report to the Council on the discussions so far on the proposal for a new financial instrument, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The new fund will help deliver the ambitious objectives of the reform. It will assist fishermen in the transition towards sustainable fishing, as well as coastal communities in the diversification of their economies. The fund will finance projects that create new jobs and improve quality of life along European coasts.

The public debates and the press conference can be followed by video streaming.

Last update: 17/04/2013 |  Top