The Minister for the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, TD, has today announced further support for the Irish inshore fisheries sector Irish MEP Billy Kelleher says the Irish Government needs to request an extension of BAR for applicants to have time to spend their allocation common fisheries policy challenges

Fisheries Committee MEPs have called for the Common Fisheries Policy to be closer to the daily challenges of fishermen

  • Fisheries sector and environmental policy must be aligned
  • Flexible landing obligation needed
  • Common Fisheries Policy has to take account of the needs of outermost regions

Common Fisheries Policy under scrutiny: MEPs advocate balancing environmental and socio-economic aspects

In a recent report addressing the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) expressed their concerns about the policy’s predominant focus on environmental aspects, calling for better balance between environmental, economic, and food security objectives.

The report, approved with 16 votes in favor, 4 against, and 1 abstention, highlights the need to make the CFP more responsive to the daily challenges faced by the fishing sector.

The CFP, a cornerstone of European fisheries management, has long aimed to ensure the sustainability of fish stocks and the livelihoods of European fishermen. However, MEPs assert that the environmental dimension has taken precedence over other considerations. To maintain a harmonious equilibrium, they are urging for an inclusive approach.

 

MEPs Advocate Practical Implementation of Maximum Sustainable Yield

One key issue MEPs address is the need for practicality in achieving the maximum sustainable yield (MSY), a fundamental reference in fisheries management. To ensure sustainable fish stock management, they emphasize that policies should be practically applicable in the field without undermining stock size.

 

Flexibility in Landing Obligation Implementation

The report underscores the importance of flexible measures for implementing the landing obligation. Aspects such as limited storage capacity onboard vessels need improvement to guarantee its effective application. In light of this, MEPs suggest evaluating alternatives that can minimize unwanted catches, exploring various approaches to the landing obligation, and developing more selective fishing gear.

 

Transparency and Involvement of Fishing Communities

MEPs express dissatisfaction with the lack of transparency in member states’ allocation of quotas. They call for the active involvement of fishing communities in this process, aiming for a more democratic and accountable allocation system.

 
Support for Regionalization and Small-Scale Fisheries

MEPs stress the necessity of engaging regions and local authorities in the development of national fisheries programs. Additionally, they advocate for the involvement of small-scale fishermen in shaping fisheries policies. The report calls for defining small-scale, artisanal, and coastal fisheries in the upcoming review of the CFP to ensure that they are adequately considered.

 

Addressing the Needs of Outermost Regions

MEPs recognize that the CFP does not adequately address the unique characteristics of the EU’s outermost regions. They call on the European Commission to propose a program of options, similar to the one for agriculture, that specifically relates to the remoteness and insularity of these regions (POSEI) concerning fisheries and aquaculture. Furthermore, they emphasize the importance of national and EU-level support for modernizing the artisanal fleet in these areas.

 

Background

In February 2023, the European Commission presented a “Pact for Fisheries and Oceans,” assessing the functioning of the CFP ten years after its last reform and 40 years since its creation. While acknowledging that the CFP already contains tools for more sustainable fisheries management, the Commission conceded that there is room for improvement in the policy’s implementation.

This report highlights MEPs’ ongoing commitment to making the CFP more responsive to the needs of the fishing sector while striving to maintain the sustainability of fish stocks and the well-being of coastal communities.

 

Source: Press Release

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