Uta Bellion, director of the Pew Environment Group's EU Marine Programme, issued the following statement in response to the EU Council of Fisheries Ministers' agreement in the early hours of this morning to toughen control of the EU fleet.
“Today's decision by the Council of Ministers emphasises the pressing need to reverse some of the damage done by overfishing, such as decreased fish stocks and fewer fishing jobs. The new system will bolster the measures agreed to in September 2008 to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing.
“The Ministers reached the overdue agreement that subsidies should be withheld from Member States if they fail to apply control measures effectively. Taxpayers want to know their money is encouraging sustainable fishing rather than rewarding IUU fishing.
“This agreement comes at the height of the public consultation on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. Overfishing driven by overcapacity is one of the underlying drivers of IUU fishing. To ensure the long-term economic and social viability of EU fisheries and to ensure fishers are no longer enticed to break the rules to make a living, Member States must make a substantial reduction in the capacity of the EU fleet. ”
Note to the Editor: