Oceana warns this week’s negotiation round must give rise to significant progress as post-Brexit fishing rules are still up in the air
This week’s negotiation round must give rise to significant progress, warns Oceana, as the fisheries agreement is essential for environmental sustainability and to prevent a return to overfishing.
As a new round of negotiations between the UK and the EU begins this week, Oceana draws attention to the urgent need for a successful conclusion of the talks when it comes to fisheries. Due to the shared nature of ecosystems and fish populations, a deal on fisheries is essential not only to settle issues of access to waters and to markets but also, and most importantly, to avoid a return to overfishing.
Melissa Moore – head of UK policy at Oceana said: “Reciprocal access to markets and waters must be conditional on sustainability. An agreement between the UK and the EU must include commitments to end overfishing and restore fish populations, by fishing at levels not exceeding the best available science. Fisheries that damage our marine ecosystems and protected areas should not be permitted either.”
Under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), progress was made to reduce overfishing. But this autumn the fishing rules need to be agreed for 2021, the first year when the UK will not be subject to the rules of the CFP. Failure to come to a deal will endanger any chances of agreeing such rules, which could easily result in unilateral quota setting and overfishing. EU and UK fishers need at least the stability and certainty of how much they will be allowed to catch next year, and that amount must be sustainable.
Vera Coelho – Senior director of advocacy in Europe at Oceana said: “An agreement is urgently needed, not only to provide the foundation for long-term sustainable management, but also because decisions must be made very soon regarding fishing limits and other management measures effective as of 1st January 2021.”
Oceana is advocating for a deal that is based on scientific catch limits, upholds environmental standards and leads to operational predictability for fishers. The alternative, no deal and no cooperation, is the worst possible outcome, as the unilateral setting of catch limits will result in an overfishing race to the bottom.
Source: Press Release