MEPs say they favour discard ban on fishery by fishery basis

On Monday 27 February, MEPs discussed the working document on the CFP basic regulation presented by rapporteur Ulrike Rodust (S&D).

The working document contains 35 proposals. In the discussion, MEPs particularly touched upon the subjects of discards, MSY and the social element of reform.

The Spanish approach to social and environmental goals
Dolores García-Hierro Caraballo (S&D, Spain) said that Spanish MEPs in the S&D group would like to put more emphasis on the social and economic objectives in the Common Fisheries Policy, indicating that there may be a split within the rapporteur’s own political group when it comes to prioritising environmental sustainability.

Ana Miranda (Greens/EFA, Spain) also said she found the socio-economic element to be missing in both the Commission’s proposal and in Rodust’s working document.

Discard ban
Several MEPs said they support Ulrike Rodust’s proposal to introduce a discard ban on a fishery by fishery basis, instead of a species by species basis as proposed by the European Commission.

Marek Józef Gróbarczyk (ECR) said he feared a discard ban would give a competitive advantage to large scale industrial fishing, since small scale operators might not be able to handle the unwanted by-catch aboard their vessels.

Kriton Arsenis (S&D) said he opposed proposal 16 in the working document, in which it is proposed that by-catch quotas shall be allowed to be transferred from one year to the other. We must always base catch quotas on scientific data each year, he said.

MEPs Struan Stevenson (ECR, UK), Isabella Lövin (Greens/EFA, Sweden) and Chis Davies (ALDE, UK) said they support the goal of achieving the fishing mortality Fmsy by 2015. Chris Davies also said that there should be a specified date for when to reach fish stock biomass Bmsy.

What’s next?
The working document is only meant as a basis for discussion. Ulrike Rodust is expected to present her draft report in May. See the timetable.

See the whole discussion
> Watch the video recording of the meeting (Fisheries Committee website)
> Read Ulrike Rodust’s working document on the Basic Regulation

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