Initial reactions to the CFP proposal

A quick summary of some of the initial comments on the Commission’s CFP reform proposal, presented today.

Fishermen’s organisations
Europêche (Press release in more languages) – “The Commission has not taken into account the sector’s essential demands, which have been put forward on many occasions over the past two years, and has also not provided any socio-economic elements within the proposed measures.”

Scottish Fishermen’s Federation -“If the current proposals were implemented in their unmodified form they would result in a 20% downturn in the size of the Scottish fishing fleet and numbers of people employed in the industry – that is completely unacceptable.”

Danish Fishermen’s Association – “Danish fisheries are economically viable, is conducted properly, and most stocks are recovering, so Danish fisheries are already geared towards the changes that the European Commission envisages.”

Environmental NGOs
Ocean2012 –  “The Commission’s proposal falls short in the way it addresses overcapacity, which its own 2009 Green Paper identified as a key driver of overfishing.”

nef – “The groups said despite some positive measures, such as the commitment to stock recovery by 2015, there were too many shortcomings that if not addressed by Ministers and MEPs, could undermine any chance of meaningful reform.”

WWF – “The proposal lacks ambition and leaves the challenge of saving Europe’s fisheries to the European Parliament and Member States.”

Seas at risk – “More ambitious management targets for stocks will only halt overfishing if Ministers are obliged to set fishing quotas based on the best available scientific advice.”

Greenpeace – “Trading around fishing quotas won’t stop overfishing, especially without a clear pathway to bring the fleet size in line with how much fish is left in the sea.”

Oceana – “Given the Commission’s strong words in previous months on their commitment to the marine environment and to restoring dwindling European fish stocks, this proposal lacks the much needed solutions for our oceans.

Politicians / institutions
UK Fisheries Minister, Richard Benyon – “This is the start of lengthy negotiations, and we will play a full part in helping to improve them. I am confident that we can make the case for the radical reform that is needed, alongside our allies at home and abroad, to grasp this once in a decade opportunity.”

Janez Potočnik, environment commissioner – “I had three main concerns when discussing the CFP reform: To ensure that the objectives of our environmental policies and those within the new CFP are consistent. To build a CFP on good science. To make CFP governance strong, with good control, inspection and sanction systems. I think these concerns are dealt with in the proposals adopted by the Commission.”

Polish EU presidency – “The objective of the Presidency is to advance the technical examination as far as possible.”

EPP in the European Parliament – “We need to achieve in the reform a fisheries resources management system that ends overcapacity of the fleet and overfishing. The quotas system has lead us to both these problems, so we need a new sytem which takes into account the different characteristics of the fleets and of the fisheries areas and species”

S&D in the European Parliament – “The European Commission has realised that all the technical details can not be decided in Brussels. However, to succeed we will need to change attitudes at all levels.”

ECR in the European Parliament – “These proposals are a step in the right direction but far less ambitious than the CFP needs. The best people to make decisions about fisheries management are fishermen themselves and scientists, not bureaucrats in Brussels. We need to devolve a greater level of responsibility down to the local level.

Greens in the European Parliament – “The main priority of any overarching fisheries policy should therefore be to set environmental sustainability as a prerequisite for economic and social sustainability related to fisheries.”

EFA in the European Parliament – “The discards issue is a complex one and solutions must be found in conjunction with the industry. Instead, the Commission has chosen arbitrary dates after which all fish must be landed.”

Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall –  “I’m very happy to see that the proposal specifically includes measures to end discards. It’s not perfect but it’s a brave step in the right direction and we should applaud Commissioner Damanaki for ensuring discards are firmly on the agenda.”

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