Brussels, 15 May 2013 – Early yesterday morning European Union Fisheries Ministers concluded a two day meeting on reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, CFP. Ministers were meeting to revise the mandate of the Irish Presidency so it can conclude CFP reform negotiations with the European Parliament.
In February 2013, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of a radical reform of the CFP to restore fish stocks without further delay. EU fisheries ministers rejected this ambition and have been systematically trying to reach a compromise with the Parliament ever since.
At yesterday’s Council of Fisheries, Ministers agreed to significant changes, some of which are moving in the right direction, while other decisions reverted to previous conservative positions of the Council
We acknowledge that the EU Council of Fisheries Ministers has made a move in the right direction by supporting the restoration of fish stocks,” said Anastasia Miliou, from «Archipelagos» Institute of Marine Conservation, coordinator of the network Ocean2012 for Greece and Cyprus. “However, ministers have not agreed to a target date by which fish stocks should be rebuilt. This will make setting fishing limits that will recover EU fish stocks without delay more difficult.
“We also welcome the decision to make EU funding for fishing fleets conditional upon member States’ reporting on fleet capacity. However, the proposed text is weaker than Council’s draft position on the proposed EU Maritime and Fisheries Fund,” says Ms. Miliou.
Millions of EU citizens support this reform hoping to lead to an end in the misuse of taxpayers’ money in the fisheries sector. Policies and mechanisms for fisheries management and control have been managed highly inefficiently to date, resulting in a dramatic decline in fish stocks in European waters. This is placing the future of EU fisheries at stake.