Industry airs concerns over new fisheries fund

Industry has voiced concerns over the implementation of the new fisheries fund Industry has voiced concerns over the implementation of the new fisheries fund

The European Parliament has agreed on the €6.5bn European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) – the final step of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform – but a number of key industry players have voiced their concerns over its implementation.

Member states committed to end overfishing for all stocks by 2020 at the latest, to recover fish stocks within a reasonable time frame and to eliminate excessive fishing capacity in their fleets. For the first time, the CFP also recognised the value of low-impact small-scale fisheries.

Oceana said it’s pleased with the Parliament’s plan to ensure the new CFP will restore the health of our seas, but was less impressed with its attempt to introduce “harmful subsidies”.

“The European Parliament proved itself to be a force for environmental food during negotiations for the CFP, however in the case of the EMFF we saw more extreme differences of opinion: both the most environmentally destructive proposal – subsidies to build new boats – and the most beneficial proposal – to double funding for data collection and control measures – came from the Parliament,” said Xavier Pastor, executive director.

Fortunately, the proposal to fund new boats was rejected by the Plenary, however over subsidies, such as funding for new engines, were reintroduced.

Greenpeace also aired its concerns. “The success of this reform hangs on their political will, and on the measures they now have to implement to help our seas recover by reducing fleets, ending overfishing and promoting low-impact fishing,” added Justine Maillot, policy advisor, Greenpeace.

Ocean2012 also spoke out stating that “considerable leadership and political courage were displayed in securing reform, but this does not guarantee an end to EU overfishing. That requires member states to set sustainable fishing limits and implement the discard ban”.

The new EMFF will come into force after its formal confirmation by fisheries ministers and its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

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