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EU fisheries reform: Council confirms political agreement

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Tuesday, 16 July 2013

EU fisheries reform: Council confirms political agreement

On 15 July, the Agriculture and Fisheries Council of the European Union confirmed the political agreement with the European Parliament (reached on 18 June 2013) on the Common fisheries policy (CFP) reform.
These includes comprises for the two reformed texts of the basic and market regulations of the CFP. These two, together with the proposal on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), will be discussed later this year (2013) by the EU institutions.
The main elements of the text on basic provisions of the CFP are as follows:
•    Fishing quotas set will fully respects scientific advice. This is expected to lead to healthy fish stocks and higher quotas as fish stocks are managed at maximum sustainable yield (MSY) levels;
•    The discard of fish stocks will no longer be allowed; this shall end the old policy which forced fishermen to waste food by discarding fish at sea. However, some limited exemptions have been included. A new regionalized approach will include fishermen and other interest groups, as well as national administrations in the development of technical and conservation measures to protect juvenile fish and vulnerable fish species.
•    Biologically sensitive areas with spawning grounds and high populations of juvenile fish should be developed and strengthened.
As regards the market regulation, it is specified:
•    That the mandatory consumer information on product marking and labeling shall include from now on also the gear type used in wild capture fisheries, and a more detailed indication of the catch area.
•    In addition, it is foreseen for the producer organisations to have less administrative market intervention mechanism at hand. Focus is now given to their own marketing strategies expressed in their production and marketing plans, and a close involvement in the general policy direction, e.g. concerning discard avoidance.

Source: Council of the European Union