New landmark reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) was agreed on the 30 May between the Council of Ministers and European Parliament. The overarching aim of the reformed policy is to end overfishing and make fishing sustainable environmentally, economically and socially. Read more…
The agreement follows a series of talks between the Irish Presidency, led by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, and the European Parliament through rapporteur Ulrike Rodust, with the Commission acting as facilitator throughout the discussions. The last issues to be resolved concerned four crucial aspects in the fisheries sector – the maximum sustainable yield objective, the discard ban, regionalisation and management of fleet capacity.
The deal aims to bring fish stocks above sustainable levels by aligning fishing opportunities with scientific advice. Discarding will be banned from 2015 and all fishing opportunities will be set at sustainable levels between 2015 and 2020. Co-operation with regional authorities and stakeholders will be promoted to find tailor-made solutions for each problem. The policy will also implement a new marketing policy to provide better information to consumers.
The European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Maria Damanki, said the agreement represent a historic turning point and will fundamentally change the way we fish in the future. Amelie Malafosse, policy advisor at Oceana, the largest international organisation focused solely on ocean conservation, said that the new policy is a step forward compared with the current 2002 CFP policy, but the success of a policy depends on the way it is implemented.
With the new policy now agreed at the political level, finalisation and formal adoption will follow over the coming months. The new policy will come into force by 1 January 2014 with a progressive implementation of the new rules.
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