EU Fisheries: Greater flexibility for EU fishermen and more coherent rules to avoid unwanted catches
The agreement reached on the so-called technical measures, which define where, when and how fishing may take place in the EU, was adopted today in Plenary by a large majority. The technical measures include specifications for fishing gears and mesh sizes, closed areas and seasons, as well as measures to minimize the numbers of unwanted catches and the impact of fishing on the marine ecosystem and to protect juveniles (baby fish). Moreover, the final text sets out simplified rules for fishermen and a framework for regional cooperation in EU fisheries. The regulation is essential in order to achieve sustainable fisheries in the EU, the cornerstone objective of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) adopted in 2014.
Throughout the negotiations, the ALDE group has fought for a more ambitious text allowing for greater flexibility and clarity for EU fishermen while at the same time maintaining common goals at EU level to ensure coherent and strong environmental protection in all EU waters.
Nils Torvalds, Shadow rapporteur on this file, said today:
“After 20 years, it was high time the EU set new and more coherent rules on how to better avoid unwanted catches and on how to simplify the rules for fishermen. Throughout the negotiations, there has been a strong will from other political groups and from the Council to dilute the current environmental standards. But in the end, we were able today to adopt an agreement that ensures that current environmental standards will not be deteriorated and that member states will have to show progress towards a more selective fishing in the future.”