Plans to overhaul the EU's Common Fisheries Policy were today voted on by the European Parliament's fisheries committee, an important stage of the legislative process and coming at the same time as a Council meeting of EU fisheries ministers this week. The Greens have been at the fore in pushing for a fundamental reform of the CFP to make it more sustainable and welcomed today's vote, in particular support by MEPs to ensure the recovery of fish stocks to abundant levels and a ban on discards. Commenting after the vote, Green fisheries spokesperson Isabella Lövin said:
"MEPs have today voted to finally put the CFP on a sustainable footing. This vote would bring an end to a destructive and money-losing EU fisheries policy, which has been based on subsidised overfishing. Given the typically conservative nature of the fisheries committee, it also gives hope that this fundamental reform is possible.
"Crucially, MEPs have backed plans to require sustainable levels of fishing from 2015 on, to enable fish stocks to be restored to abundant levels by 2020. More fish in the sea means more profitable fishing for fishermen so this situation will benefit both the environment and the industry. MEPs also voted in favour of ending the senseless and wasteful practise of discards for all harvested species.
"The vote also sends a strong signal to EU fisheries ministers, who are meeting this week to set quotas for 2013. Ministers should follow the Committee's lead and adopt quotas for 2013 that will allow the recovery to begin immediately, as further delays mean lost jobs and lost money."