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EP: vote on fisheries reform

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Monday, 04 February 2013

EP: vote on fisheries reform

On Wednesday 6 February, during the European Parliament Plenary in Strasbourg, the MEPs are expected to give their final vote on a reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). This will the first time when the EP will vote as a co-legislator on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.
In December last year, The European Parliament's Fisheries Committee voted on major reforms to the CFP demanding sustainable quotas by 2015 and an end to discards.
A majority is expected to support the Commission- voted reform, which was praised by environmental NGOs as a milestone vote for sustainable fisheries.
Concretely, this will mean the adoption of:
•    Binding sustainable fishing quotas by 2015 in order to rebuild fish stocks to sustainable levels (above stock sizes that can produce the maximum sustainable yield, MSY) by 2020.
•    A discard ban on all harvested species introduced between 2014 and 2017.
After Parliament adopts its position, there will be negotiations with the Council during the next few months. Since the Parliament has had influence on the CFP as a co-legislator only since the adoption of the Lisbon treaty, this will be the first time the Parliament and Council will negotiate on the framework for the future of EU fisheries.
However, on the key issues of overfishing and discards, the Council position is quite different from the text that the Parliament is set to vote on. Fisheries ministers have declared that they want to begin setting quotas at MSY levels only by 2020. Also, the discard ban is being debated in Council now, as several member states want to weaken the discard ban- by postponing it and by introducing exemptions allowing up to 15 percent of the catches to be discarded.
Nevertheless, Simon Coveney, Ireland's agriculture and fisheries minister says he wants to have the CFP reform adopted by the end of Ireland’s rotating presidency in July 2013.

Source: CFP-reformwatch.eu, European Voice