Statement

NGOs urge members of PECH Committee to heed public opinion on positive use of EU fisheries subsidies

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Summary

BirdLife Europe, Greenpeace, OCEANA, OCEAN2012 and WWF work together for an ambitious reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), including in relation to the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The EMFF should support the implementation of a CFP that:

  • ends overfishing by restoring and maintaining fish stocks to healthy levels,
  • incentivises environmentally sustainable fishing practices, and
  • reduces damage to marine ecosystems.

These priorities are essential to delivering progress in rebuilding an economically and socially viable EU fishing sector, reinstating a fair and equitable management of marine resources and supplying Europe’s consumers with a rich variety of locally-caught fish now and into the future. In short, they secure a future for the fish and fishermen.

Efforts to eliminate EU subsidies that incentivise and support overfishing and to instead shift funds to support sustainable fisheries play a crucial role in achieving these objectives. A failure to eliminate harmful subsidies undermines commitments made by governments at the 2002 World Summit of Sustainable Development, in the World Trade Organisation, at the 2010 conference of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya and again at the Rio+20 Summit in 2012.

In February, during the Plenary vote on the Basic Regulation of the CFP, you voted for an ambitious target for the recovery of European fish stocks, strengthened fleet management, a discard ban, the provision of sufficient funding for data collection and making funding conditional on the implementation of the CFP and relevant environmental legislation. In taking a position on the EMFF, we urge you to ensure coherence and complementarity between the Parliament’s vote on the Basic Regulation and the compromise amendments for the EMFF.

In your role as elected officials, representing the European public, we call on you to take a determined stance on reforming the EMFF by ensuring that public aid will be effectively used to help restore overexploited fish stocks and degraded marine ecosystems and to generate sustainable and equitable livelihoods in the fishing sector.

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Appolonia Benoist

Associate, Communications

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