The EU Fisheries Ministers failed to reach any agreement on a new technical measures regulation at their November meeting.

The EU Fisheries Ministers failed to reach any agreement on a new technical measures regulation at their November meeting.

It will now fall to Spain to tackle on this issue. Spain takes over the Presidency of the Council of the The EU Fisheries Ministers failed to reach any agreement on a new technical measures regulation at their November meeting.EU on 1st January 2010.

The Swedish Presidency presented a compromise proposal for a new comprehensive regulation that would replace several current sets of rules for the Atlantic and external waters, Swedish Minister Eskil Erlandsson, the present Council President said.

Several member states concluded that further analysis was needed and that the new compromise contained stricter measures which certain member states could not accept.

The Swedish Presidency was disappointed at the outcome, as according to them agreement on the proposal would have been an important step towards sustainable fisheries.

“Discards have been a problem for a long time. I had hoped that we’d be able to agree on a proposal that would have meant reduced discards”.

“I now hope that the European Parliament will stand behind those measures that are needed”, Erlandsson said.

The Lisbon Treaty, which will come into force from 1st December 2009, will endow the European Parliament with formal influence on fisheries issues for the first time.

Erlandsson said that Friday’s failure to reach agreement means that the current technical measures rules will be prolonged for the rest of 2009, for 2010 and the first half of 2011, “when a new decision must be made”.

The Council meeting also included agreement on the 2010 catch quotas for turbot and sprat in the Black Sea – the turbot TACs for Romanian and Bulgarian fishermen had dominated those discussions, Erlandsson said – reports from the Commission on the first round of the annual EU-Norway negotiations and an action plan to reduce unwanted by-catch of seabirds, and a lunch discussion on the 2012 reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Seas At Risk, together with the Fish Secretariat, produced briefing for ministers ahead of the November Council. The letter to ministers can be found below.

Photograph by Florence Forrest http://www.flickr.com/photos/florenceforrest

Letter to ministers

Annex 1 Technical Conservation MeasuresAnnex 1 Technical Conservation Measures

Annex 2 Birdlife Seabird bycatchAnnex 2 Birdlife Seabird bycatch

Annex 3 OCEAN 2012 Discussion PaperAnnex 3 OCEAN 2012 Discussion Paper

Council Press ReleaseCouncil Press Release

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