Undermining the recent EU agreement on the reformed Common Fisheries Policy to end overfishing (CFP), the Fisheries Committee of the European Parliament today voted to restore EU subsidies for building new fishing vessels.

Undermining the recent EU agreement on the reformed Common Fisheries Policy to end overfishing (CFP), the Fisheries Committee of the European Parliament today voted to restore EU subsidies for building new fishing vessels.

“In February, the European Parliament made history with a progressive vote to reform the Common Fisheries Policy, aimed at ending overfishing. Today’s change of tune brings Europe back to square one on a key issue, totally undermining the progress made earlier this year in the CFP reform process”, said Monica Verbeek, Executive Director of Seas at Risk.

“Aid for construction of new vessels was abolished during the previous CFP reform in 2002, and today’s vote is a scandal. By voting in favour of vessel construction subsidies, the Parliament is using European tax-payers money to fund the overcapacity of the fishing fleet, putting fish stock recovery at risk. The Fisheries Committee did not put the money where its mouth was in February.”

The Fisheries Committee also decided to fund storage for unwanted catch, indirectly undermining the main goal of the ban on discarding dead fish at sea agreed earlier this year, namely an incentive to fish more selectively. In addition, Seas at Risk questions the Parliament’s vote rejecting public engagement in fishery management bodies, which denies opportunities for public scrutiny.

The position of the Fisheries Committee established today will be the basis for the final position of the Parliament, on which the plenary will vote in the autumn. Once the Parliament position is agreed, the official negotiations with the Council can start, with a view to reaching a political agreement before the end of the year.

“We can only hope that the plenary of the Parliament will correct the disastrous vote of today. In these times of economic crisis, the Parliament should not allow that EU tax payers money is used to undermine EU fisheries management”, said Monica Verbeek. END

Contacts: Monica Verbeek, mobile +351 965 617 846;
Luisa Colasimone, mobile +32 479 100 067.



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