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Tuesday, 21 May 2013

NGOs concerned over CFP negotiations

NGOs are concerned about the threat of delays or the possible collapse of EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) negotiations. BirdLife Europe, BirdWatch Ireland, Greenpeace, NEF – the new economics foundation, Oceana, OCEAN2012, and WWF released a joint statement following the meeting with Irish fisheries minister and chair of the EU fisheries Council, Simon Coveney stating that countries including France, Spain, Poland, Lithuania, Greece and Romania are resisting efforts to find common ground with the European Parliament on key issues such as fleet management and discards.
The groups say that Mr Coveney must not give in to these “short-sighted positions but instead re-double his efforts to win agreement with all fisheries ministers for an ambitious reform”.
They says that the only issue where the Council is currently showing willingness to compromise with the Parliament is on the subject of stock recovery to levels that can support maximum sustainable yield.
An agreement on the EU fisheries reform is currently blocked because of a division between the European Parliament and the Council on the topic of discards. The Parliaments requires discards ban to start immediately, and require for provisions that stipulate a return of all fish stocks to sustainable levels by 2020,  while the Council of ministers (especially the southern states) prefer a much weaker alternative of a phased-in ban, with a 9% level of exemption permitted, and a return to sustainable levels "whenever possible".

The last Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on May 14-15 adopted a revised mandate to facilitate the next stage of negotiations between the Irish Presidency and the European Parliament on the reform of the Policy. Commissioner Damanaki said: "Council has made a good step forward and really tried to come closer to the EU parliament position in order to find a compromise. I think a deal is possible and I hope we can finalise a first reading agreement under the Irish Presidency.”

Source: worldfishing.net