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Discard reduction ‘vital’ for CFP success

10 May 2012

Panels comprising international industry experts and politicians have debated Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform at the 6th World Fisheries Congress in Edinburgh.

Debate was fuelled specifically by regionalisation and the potential for devolving certain powers to member states; subsidies; Transferable Fishing Concessions and discards. Contributors reached the unanimous view that reducing unwanted catches and discards is vital for the success of fisheries reform.

The ‘Question Time’ style debate, facilitated by WWF and SeaWeb,addressed proposed policy reforms and examined imminent challenges and opportunities for the industry.

Contributors including UK fisheries minister Richard Benyon MP; Scottish cabinet secretary Richard Lochhead MSP; Tony Long from WWF; and Lowri Evans, Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries for the European Commission, took part in the session.

Emily Howgate, programme manager at SeaWeb, facilitated the panel debate. She said: “The year ahead will be a decisive one for CFP reform.

“The debate held at the World Fisheries Congress brought together leading figures from European politics and the fishing industry to examine policy issues and delve into the challenges and opportunities for science and supply chain operators. The session confirmed that collaboration between government and industry will be crucial to ensure positive implementation of the reform, with fishermen and other stakeholders assisting to inform policy.”