Davies: EU Fisheries policy reform achieved

Europe’s common fisheries policy is set for radical reform after negotiators for EU governments and the European Parliament reached agreement in Brussels at 03.00 this morning.

Supporters of the deal claim that it paves the way for rebuilding Europe’s depleted fish stocks and curbing the discard of millions of tonnes of fish each year.

British representatives have played a key role in securing the reform.  They say that it demonstrates how EU policies can be changed for the better.

An obligation to land all pelagic fish, such as mackerel, will commence from 1 January 2015.  Other reforms, which must yet be formally approved by ministers and MEPs, will be phased in over subsequent years.

Long term management plans are to be prepared for every fishery with the aim of increasing fish numbers above the maximum sustainable yield.

Fishermen will have a new role in determining practices appropriate to local conditions as micro-management from Brussels is reduced.

Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies, secretary of the cross-party ‘Fish for the Future’ group in the European Parliament, described the deal as a major step forward that would promote sustainable fishing practices.  Continue reading

Davies: Ban Discards

An agreement between ministers to curb the discard of fish has been criticised by a local Euro-MP for leaving gaping loopholes.

Fisheries ministers agreed on Wednesday (27.2) to reforms of the EU common fisheries policy, but said that close to 10% of all fish caught can still be discarded, dead.

Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies described the loophole as a breach of the principle that all fish caught should be landed. Continue reading