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Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Ministers delve deeper into certain aspects of CFP reform

During the course of the last Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries, ministers exchanged views on certain aspects of the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Two main issues were discussed: while the first debate focused on achieving environmental sustainability through maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and the integration of environmental law requirements into the proposal covering the basic provisions of the CFP; the second issue delved deeper into the proposal for a regulation on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), replacing the existing European fisheries fund.
Although there was a general agreement regarding the inclusion of MSY as an objective in the CFP, most delegations urged a progressive approach. They suggested that the deadline for reaching the MSY for certain fish stocks could be set in 2015, in line with the EU's international commitments (Johannesburg), if scientific advice was available and no third countries were involved in the fishery. In other cases, in particular when thescientific information available was poor, a deadline could be set in 2020 at the latest.
Concerning the EMF, though delegations broadly agreed on the current proposal, some questioned whether the part of the fund dedicated to controls and data collection was sufficient. With this in view, some countries mentioned a possible transfer from the allocations for direct management to the allocation for shared management.

Source: Council of the EU