Statement by Marco AFFRONTE, independent MEP of the Greens/EFA Group :
"The Strasbourg Plenary vote saw two major winners, the Croatians and industrial fishing, and two major losers: the Adriatic Sea and small fishermen.
We fought for the escapement strategy but the conservatives, Forza Italia and the 5 Star Movement chose to lead us towards a leap in the dark for at least 3 years, during which the risk of a collapse of the anchovy stock could reach 60% (GFCM data), as well as that of sardines (40%). I do not think that, for small fishermen, throwing their lives and their activities on the poker table, betting everything on the resistance of stocks, is very wise: we now have to keep our fingers crossed and pray that anchovies and sardines do not disappear.
Small fishermen must 'thank' MEP Gardini and the PPE, as well as the shift in the 5 Star Movement - which has gone from being a friend of the environment to being friends with industry. The text that emerged is a mess, a Frankenstein regulation that gives the rapporteur a weak mandate for the Trilogue with the Commission and the Council. I don't want to be a spoilsport, but I foresee hard times for the Adriatic and those who live by it".