Tuesday 12 June Fisheries Ministers will meet in Luxembourg to adopt a so-called ‘general approach’ on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. The draft is now available online.
UPDATE 16:43, 12 June: Parts of the discussions this morning were public. A summary of what ministers said can be read at Ronny Patz’ live blog and the video can be seen at the Council’s website. The negotiations are expected to go on behind closed doors until late Tuesday night.
“I look forward to the Council endorsing a general approach that will ensure sustainability as the cornerstone in future negotiations with the European Parliament,” the Danish chair, Mette Gjerskov said Monday in a press release.
The UK minister, Richard Benyon, tweeted last week that the UK is aligned with Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavians pushing for an end to discards and fishing to MSY, while other countries are trying to block. The Swedish minister, Eskil Erlandsson, said today that “it is important to set a firm end date for introducing catch levels in line with what the fish stocks allow.”
Not everyone is convinced that the compromise deal can deliver on that promise. “If this backroom deal would be adopted unchanged, it would sanction overfishing for another decade, by which time most of the industry will have fished itself out of business,” a group of NGOs – including Ocean2012, Greenpeace and WWF – wrote in an open letter last week.
The Fish Fight campaign has published newspaper adverts in France, Spain, Poland, the UK, and is today running a twitter campaign directed at those ministers, calling for the restoration of fish stocks by 2015, a discard ban by 2016 and a network of marine reserves.
A ‘General approach‘ is not a legally binding document, but it will cement the Council’s position ahead of the negotiations with the European Parliament.