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European Ministers Vote To Stop Bankrupting The Oceans European Union, December 18, 12

Today the European Parliament’s fisheries (PECH) committee members voted 13 to 10 in favor of the draft report by Ulrike Rodust (S&D, DE) on the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) Basic Regulation, the cornerstone of the CFP reform package and the key to sustainable fisheries in the EU.

It was a difficult vote on 104 compromise amendments, extracted from nearly 3000 amendments in total, however all of the five WWF key asks for the Common Fisheries Policy reform were voted through on:

- Maximum Sustainable Yield – above MSY (BMSY) by 2020
- Multi-annual Plans (MAPs) and a timeline for implementation in four years’ time
- Commitment to eliminate discards in European fisheries with binding timetable
- Regionalization – cooperation amongst stakeholders within or between member states to agree on management measures for shared fisheries
- External dimension - with active EU participation in international fisheries; EU fleets shall only fish surplus stocks from 3rd countries; EU fighting against IUU (illegal, unregulated and unreported) fishing.

Commenting on the outcomes of today’s vote, Roberto Ferrigno, Common Fisheries Policy Project Coordinator, WWF European Policy Office said: “WWF are incredibly happy that this key stage of the reform process to make the EU fisheries policy more sustainable has been won, despite relentless opposition from certain individuals within the European Parliament’s fisheries committee who wanted to keep a status-quo. This is true progress and a complete victory for an amazing group of supportive MEPs - they know who they are - who worked around the clock to make this happen!”

“The Fisheries Committee has shown through this milestone vote that the European Parliament is listening to scientific advice and wants fish stocks to recover. WWF now calls on the rest of MEPs in the parliament to champion this position in the plenary vote in early 2013 and hold the line ahead of even more challenging negotiations with fisheries ministers at council level next year”.

WWF believes that the CFP reform must lead by the end of 2013, to the adoption of a new regulatory framework for truly sustainable and economically viable fisheries across EU waters.