Uta Bellion, director of the Pew Environment Group's EU Marine Programme, issued the following statement in response to the European Parliament's Fisheries Committee's vote today in favor of a proposal for a more effective control system of the EU fleet.
“Today's vote by the Fisheries Committee is a step in the right direction to ensure better control and enforcement of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in EU waters and beyond. Unless there is meaningful control, overfishing will persist, resulting in less fish in the longer term and fewer fisheries-dependent jobs.
“We cautiously welcome the decision of the committee members and expect their peers to improve on it in the upcoming plenary vote.”
The Pew Environment Group furthermore calls on EU Member State governments to ensure swift adoption of the proposed EU control system ensuring:
Pew is of the view that the control proposal must be considered in conjunction with a substantial reduction of the capacity of the EU fleet. “Overcapacity of the EU fleet constitutes a major obstacle to rational and sustainable management of fishing activities and is one of the underlying drivers of illegal fishing. This must be addressed urgently, to ensure that EU fishing operations will become economically, socially and environmentally viable and to eliminate the incentive to bend or break the rules,” Bellion stated.
The Pew Environment Group is contributing to the discussion around the control system by conducting workshops in Paris (March 10th), Madrid (March 31st) and Genoa (April 18th). The three workshops are bringing together representatives of government, the fishing industry, the European Commission, scientists, economists and civil society to discuss the importance of strengthening fisheries control to combat the problem of illegal fishing.
Note to the Editor:
The Pew Environment Group's European Marine Programme supports the European Union in ending global overfishing and reducing destruction of the world´s oceans.