A deal on proposals to reform the EU's Common Fisheries Policy was reached early this morning in negotiations between the European Parliament and Council. The deal will provide for an overhaul of the CFP. Commenting on the deal, Green fisheries spokesperson Isabella Lövin (MEP, Sweden) said:
”The deal includes a number of major breakthroughs. EU governments agreed to Green proposals to ensure that those who fish in a more sustainable way and contribute to coastal communities get priority access to fisheries. Rules on how the EU fleet fishes in non-EU waters have also been strengthened. EU fishing vessels will only be allowed access to surplus fish in third countries: a crucial measure for preventing the over-exploitation of developing countries' fish stocks.
"This deal is an important step forward and will undoubtedly improve the EU's dysfunctional fisheries policy. However, the outcome is tinged with disappointment that EU governments were not willing to match the ambition of the European Parliament (1). It is regrettable that instead of opting for a full discard ban for all harvested species, as voted by the MEPs, EU governments have insisted on multiple exemptions in the final deal. While EU rules on discards will improve significantly, they may not provide enough incentives to increase selectivity and avoid unwanted catches."
(1) The European Parliament voted on its position in February. See the Green press release http://www.greens-efa.eu/eu-fisheries-policy-reform-9136.html