Today EU fisheries ministers struggled to reach agreement on a discards ban and finalise their position on reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) ahead of negotiations with the European Parliament. On February 6th, members of the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly, 502 vs. 137, in favour of an ambitious reform of the CFP, including a discards ban without exceptions and loopholes.
"Council seems to have difficulties grasping the significance of the Parliament's vote on reform of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy."
Uta Bellion, The Pew Charitable Trusts and OCEAN2012
"Council seems to have difficulty grasping the significance of the Parliament's vote on reform of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy. While Sweden, Germany,the Netherlands, the UK, Austria and Denmark negotiated hard to minimise any exemptions to a discards ban, the final deal fails to match Parliament's leadership. In the upcoming negotiations Council should show more vision by agreeing to the Parliament's proposal to end overfishing and restore fish stocks," said Uta Bellion of The Pew Charitable Trustsand co-ordinator of OCEAN2012.
Irish fisheries minister, Simon Coveney, as President of the Fisheries Council, will lead the EU fisheries ministers in the negotiations with the Parliament that start in the coming weeks. German member of the European Parliament, Ulrike Rodust, will lead the Parliament's negotiation team. Both will have a challenge finding a deal that will stop overfishing, end destructive fishing practices and secure a long-term future for fisheries dependent communities.