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EU fisheries policy must reflect real spread of fish stocks

Two GUE/NGL MEPs have intervened this morning in a European Parliament debate on fisheries.

Portuguese MEP João Ferreira stressed the importance of taking into account the different environmental and weather conditions that influence the migratory patterns of species as well as population distribution patterns.

He said: “The actual share out of quotas should reflect the relative frequency of the presence of species. To this end, we need an updated database that gives the state of play of fisheries resources. When it comes to fisheries in the northeast Atlantic, what's important is the way we share out quotas between member states. That deserves serious discussion on the basis of empirical data.

“For example, in Portugal, high stocks of sardines have increased in national waters recently. Quotas granted must reflect the real situation and the positioning of stocks so they mirror the actual spread of species. You've got to look at these stocks and the relative abundance: that is the only way to make an objective external judgement on the situation, to properly manage our stocks.”

Danish MEP Rina Ronja Kari referred to an agreement on mackerel fishing signed yesterday between the EU, the Faroe Islands and Norway.

She said: “This agreement goes in the right direction but if Iceland is not part of the agreement then we have not solved the problem: the CFP is absurd, it is not a matter of sustainability; it is a matter of money. Everybody knows that mackerel has moved and therefore it makes sense that the Faroe Islands and Iceland want to catch more. Sanctions against Iceland will not solve the problem: we need an agreement.”

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
David Lundy +32 470 85 05 09
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group