Baltic cod fishing restrictions may be reduced
Certain restrictions on fishing in EU waters were removed by a European Parliament vote this week meaning that small-scale fishermen may be able to catch Baltic cod in coastal areas during closed-season summer months.
The resolution drafted by EPP member, Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa, aims to ensure that Baltic Sea cod stocks can be exploited under sustainable economic, environmental and social conditions.
He said: “Our proposal brings us closer to achieving sustainable fishing by including the target of maximum sustainable yield and provides benefits for fish stocks as well as addressing the needs of the fisheries sector.”
Mr Wałęsa argues that statistics show that Baltic Sea cod stocks are gradually recovering and that allowing coastal fishing in summer will not harm them, as cod spawn in deeper waters.
The resolution was adopted with 661 votes in favour, 7 against and 20 abstentions.
Meanwhile, MEPs decided, by 670 votes to 2 with 5 abstentions, to postpone for a second time their vote on the report on fishing rules in EU waters, so as to send a strong protest signal to the Council about EU member states blocking any progress in negotiating multi-annual fisheries management plans.
This deadlock with the member states over multi-annual fisheries management plans is the result of a conflict over Parliament's powers as co-legislator for them. The Council wants to exclude Parliament from decision-making on certain key elements of these plans.
The Baltic cod proposal still needs a green light from member states and the worry is that, as this is a multi-annual management plan, the Council could halt the file due to the above dispute with Parliament over legislative powers.
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