MEPs stressed the importance of fisheries in the blue economy, calling for more funds to modernise the fisheries sector
- Fisheries and aquaculture are key in the blue economy
- Use less damaging fishing techniques
- Foster fishing partnerships with third countries
MEPs stressed the importance of fisheries in the blue economy, calling for more funds and more ambitious environmental measures in a vote on Tuesday.
European Parliament welcomed a new EU’s sustainable blue economy strategy, covering all economic activities relating to oceans and seas, in a resolution adopted with 494 votes to 66 and 66 abstentions. However, MEPs regretted the lack of direction for fisheries and aquaculture, suggesting to guide these sectors towards responsible and sustainable use of natural resources, fostering healthy marine environment, stimulating job creation and economic opportunities.
More investment in modern and sustainable fishing
Parliament urged the Commission and the Member States to boost investment possibilities for modern and sustainable fishing and aquaculture practices. MEPs underlined the urgent need to invest in new vessels and port infrastructure as well as in diversifying the economies of coastal, remote and overseas communities. They listed numerous possible sources of EU investment, such as, European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund or the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism.
Limit environmental impact
Investments in fisheries must follow Green Deal, promote sustainable aquaculture models and also support fishermen impacted by green transition, MEPs said. They mentioned measures, such as, more algae production to capture carbon dioxide, the collection of marine litter and increased use of less damaging fishing techniques as well as the ban on bottom trawling in parts of marine protected areas, that could reverse the loss of biodiversity and could contribute to the conservation of marine ecosystems.
In addition, MEPs also called on the EU to prohibit all environmentally damaging extractive industrial activities such as mining and fossil fuel extraction in marine protected areas.
New generation fishing partnerships
MEPs highlighted the importance of establishing bilateral partnerships with third countries on sustainable fishing and on the fight against illegal fishing.
They should follow the highest environmental, economic and social sustainability criteria to establish a level playing field with products imported from third countries and therefore ensure EU’s fishing fleets’ competitiveness, MEPs stressed.
Addressing the plenary, EP rapporteur Isabel Carvalhais (S&D, PT), said: “We need more ideas promoting investment and sustainable solutions in the fisheries sector through funding from the new European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund as well as other programs. Investment based on science needs to be made to safeguard protected areas and ensure the sector’s sustainability. Fishers really need to be at the forefront of tackling the loss of marine biodiversity.”
Source: Press Release