Wednesday 8 May 2013

Ambitious reform of the Common Fisheries under threat?

People across Europe have shown their support for ambitious reform of the CFP. It is crucial that EU Fisheries Ministers don't water down proposals.

At the beginning of February, Joan Edwards (the Head of Living Seas for the Wildlife Trusts) wrote a hopeful blog after the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of an ambitious reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). A meeting next week of EU Fisheries Ministers will reveal whether this promise is likely to be fulfilled or whether the reform process might break down entirely.

We need Fisheries Ministers to commit to an agreement that includes a timeline for fish stock recovery, targeted measures to eliminate excess fishing capacity and the promotion of low-impact fishing. The UK Fisheries Minister, Richard Benyon, does seem determined to do the right thing, but we need him to show real leadership and take control of the talks to ensure that reforms are not watered down. The next meeting of EU Fisheries Ministers, on 13 and 14 May 2013, could be one of the most important meetings in the reform process.

Millions of people across the EU have expressed their support for proper reform of the CFP and MEPs in the European Parliament have voted for ambitious reform. Despite this, a number of EU Fisheries Ministers seem unwilling to compromise on proposals, refusing to negotiate on key issues such as fleet management and discards. Indeed, the only area at present that it seems there is partial agreement on is fish stock recovery plans that can support Maximum Sustainable Yield.

We therefore need your help. We need you to let our Fisheries Ministers know how important this reform by contacting them at: This is the best opportunity that we have to recover our fish stocks and rebuild a sustainable fishing sector - we need to ensure that our Fisheries Ministers take it.

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