Social, economic and ecological objectives must be part of new fisheries policy
Ahead of today's European Parliament vote on fisheries reform, Portuguese MEP João Ferreira, GUE/NGL coordinator in the Fisheries Committee said the regulation was fundamental to the future of the fishing industry and that "on one thing everyone seems to agree: the current Common Fisheries Policy - from the social, environmental or economic standpoint - is a disaster!".
"Unquestionable improvements were made to the original Commission proposal such as the removal of references to transferable fishing concessions. The Commission must now do away with the idea of trying to privatize the common good that is fishing resources" he added, regretting that the positive changes made were "still insufficient".
French MEP Younous Omarjee, author of the Regional Development Committee's opinion on the reform, also issued a clear environmental warning: "if we continue the current rate of predation, by 2050 there will be no more fish available for commercial fishing". "That's why we cannot continue as before. The reduction in catches is an ecological urgency, but it is also an economic imperative".
Omarjee finally called for the implementation of real measures of compensation for small and medium fisheries, because fishers cannot assume, for all Europeans, the economic cost of those environmental imperatives. Ferreira also underlined this, saying: "the need for establishing environmental objectives must be accompanied by the definition of social and economic objectives - essential in any fisheries policy". On the costal and regional dimension, Ferreira asked for account to be taken of the realities and particularities of each country, each fishing zone, each fleet and resources and for fishers to be involved in the solutions and their implementation.
The vote takes place at 12.30.