Press Release

EU fisheries ministers gather in Luxembourg to torpedo controversial Commission proposal

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BRUSSELS - Today EU fisheries ministers gather in Luxembourg to come to a political agreement on the Commission’s proposal for a system of mandatory transferable fishing rights (concessions) which form a central piece in the proposed reform of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy. Ministers are expected to restate their unequivocal opposition to this scheme.

While a number of ministers have been quick to dismiss the Commission’s proposed transferable fishing concessions, they have been slow to suggest an alternative that will deliver sustainable European fisheries. At the same time, over 158 diverse groups, ranging from fishermen to environmentalists, from 17 EU member states, recently signed a declaration proposing a system of providing incentives for more sustainable fishing.

“The new CFP must stop overfishing and reward those who fish in more environmentally and socially responsible ways with preferential access to fish resources. The Commission has overlooked the importance of binding the social fabric of coastal communities with a healthy marine environment by awarding those who fish more sustainable with priority access to fish.”

Markus Knigge, spokesperson for OCEAN2012, a coalition of over 160 organisations dedicated to ending overfishing in the EU

The declaration, signed by NGOs and fishing organisations, calls on the CFP reform to:

  1. Provide priority access to fish resources for those who fish in the most environmentally and socially sustainable way;
  2. Not impose Transferable Fishing Concessions on member states but instead provide a range of tools for the management of access to fishing opportunities;
  3. Include concrete timelines for the development and adoption of multi-annual plans.

Notes to the Editor:

  1. For more details, including a list of the over 158 signatory organisations to the declaration
  2. Access Criteria to Reward Responsible Fishing and other OCEAN2012 and joint NGO briefings on the CFP reform can be found in our publications section.
  3. OCEAN2012 is an alliance of organisations dedicated to transforming European Fisheries Policy to stop overfishing, end destructive fishing practices and deliver fair and equitable use of healthy fish stocks.

    OCEAN2012 was initiated, and is co-ordinated, by the Pew Environment Group, the conservation arm of The Pew Charitable Trusts, a non-governmental organisation working to end overfishing in the world´s oceans.

    The steering group of OCEAN2012 consists of the Coalition for Fair Fisheries Arrangements, Ecologistas en Acción, The Fisheries Secretariat, nef (new economics foundation), the Pew Environment Group and Seas At Risk.

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