Linda McAvan MEP welcomed ambitious fisheries reform in today's crucial fisheries committee vote. The new measures include ending discards (the process of throwing overboard unwanted fish, most often dead or dying, back into sea) and a commitment to restore fish stocks to sustainable levels.
For the first time in the history of the Common Fisheries Policy, MEPs in the European Parliament have an equal say to Fisheries Ministers in the Council on fisheries policy making. Ending discards and restoring fish stocks to sustainable levels have been top priorities for MEPs thanks to a campaign led by UK Chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall who presented MEPs with a petition of over 800,000 signatures calling for serious reform of the CFP.
Linda McAvan, who speaks for all Labour MEPs on fishing, said; ‘it's estimated that over a million tons of discarded fish have been dumped back in to our seas which is a shocking and wasteful reality. With over 60% of fish stocks being overfished, there's a real danger that this food source could become depleted in the not too distant future. It's no wonder that citizens want to see a real change in how we manage our fisheries and hopefully this legislation means we can now deliver that change. Today is the first step to get a new European fisheries policy. Now we need EU governments to back the changes."
Today's vote marks the beginning of a period of negotiations between MEPs and Ministers from the EU's 27 different countries. Final approval of the new fisheries policy is expected next year.
For further information, please contact David Poyser, communications officer for Labour MEPs, on 00 32 479790053 or Holly Lynch, Communications and Research Officer to Linda McAvan MEP on 07710827505