North Sea fisheries: Multiannual plan is an improvement but no big leap forward
Today, MEPs voted on the second multiannual fisheries plan under the new Common Fisheries Policy. Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament welcome that the multiannual plan will contribute to reversing the trend of overfishing. However, the ALDE group criticises the Council in the negotiations for not allowing the North Sea plan to live up to its full potential, as it might not in the long term guarantee that the goals of the Common Fisheries Policy are reached.
Nils Torvalds, Member of the Committee on fisheries, said today:
“The North Sea multiannual plan is an improvement in the fight against overfishing but it is no big leap forward. Unfortunately, the plan includes provisions which allow fishing above the maximum sustainable yield under certain conditions – this is due to the unwillingness of the Council. This means that the North Sea plan will not go far enough in trying to guarantee that the goals of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) are reached. The CFP clearly sets out that all fish stocks shall be fished at sustainable levels before 2020. That would benefit the environment and would ensure a long term profitable fisheries sector."
“However, we managed to ensure that the multiannual plan will at least take us one step closer to achieving the goals of the Common Fisheries Policy. The plan will also provide fairly stringent quotas that will secure fair competition with the Baltic Sea."