MEPs approve continued deep-sea trawling & EU-Morocco agreement

The European Parliament on Tuesday 10 December adopted the new EU-Morocco fisheries agreement and rejected a ban on deep-sea bottom trawling.

Deep-sea regulation
The European Parliament plenary today voted on new rules for deep-sea fishing. While MEPs voted in favour of a ban on fishing in areas with particularly vulnerable marine ecosystems, they narrowly (342 votes against 326) rejected a proposal to ban all bottom trawling below 600 meters.

“Parliament gave in to industry demands and voted against an immediate ban on bottom trawling and a switch to more selective fishing gear. Now is the moment of truth for the Council. Is it going to accept the Fisheries Committee compromise, or does it want no protection of deep sea stocks whatsoever?” said rapporteur Kriton Arsenis (S&D, EL), after the vote, referring to the fact that Council has not yet started discussing the deep-sea regulation one and a half years after the Commission’s legislative proposal.

European Parliament press release on the deep-sea regulation

EU-Morocco fisheries agreement
The parliament also gave the green light to a new EU-Morocco fisheries agreement. Many MEPs called for the rejection of the agreement, because it allows EU vessels to fish in the waters of the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara. But the rapporteur Carmen Fraga Estévez (EPP, ES) called the agreement “an excellent deal for both sides” and MEPs approved the new protocol by 310 votes to 204, with 49 abstentions.

European Parliament press release on the EU-Morocco agreement

Final approval of the reform of the CFP
Two of the three files in the the Common Fisheries Policy reform – the basic regulation and the market regulation – were formally adopted by the European Parliament today. The third and final part of the fisheries reform, the EMFF, is still being negotiated between the European Parliament and member states.

Axel Naver

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