The European Parliament today voted on a proposed funding programme for EU fisheries for 2014-20, part of the Common Fisheries Policy. The Greens expressed concern that the vote on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) risks undermining the recently-agreed reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. Commenting after the vote, Green fisheries spokesperson Raül Romeva i Rueda, stated:
"MEPs have today voted for a fisheries fund that is at odds with the goals of the recently-agreed reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. Instead of voting to end the use of public funds to subsidise overfishing and the over-exploitation of fish stocks, they have voted to give EU funds to practises that are in direct conflict with the goal of more sustainable fisheries.
"Of particular concern are proposals to reintroduce subsidies for funding for engine replacement and grants for purchasing boats for young fishermen. This would essentially subsidise an increase in fishing capacity in the EU: a totally wrongheaded approach at a time when the CFP is looking to reduce, not increase, fishing capacity.
"Thankfully, MEPs at least rejected proposals to reintroduce subsidies for new fishing vessels. One important improvement is the adoption of Green proposals to increase funding for research and control and to enable oversight by the Commission on how member states disburse these crucial funds for EU fisheries.
"The EMFF only has limited resources, and it is more essential than ever to ensure that these public funds are spent efficiently. Taxpayers’ money should only support activities that increase the sustainability of fisheries and prioritise the recovery of depleted fish stocks, so as to ensure that coastal fishing communities have a future. We can only hope that this will be corrected before the legislation is finalised."