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EU Fisheries Organizations Think 6 Years To Land All Discards Is Too Fast

The President of Europêche, Javier Garat, the President of EAPO, Sean O’Donoghue and the Chairman of the Copa-Cogeca FISH Working Group, Giampaolo Buonfiglio, have issued a joint statement on the new Common Fisheries Policy.

“The Council of the EU reached a compromise on the changes to the previous Council position for a revised mandate to finalize the negotiation with the European Parliament.”

They said: “This compromise goes part way towards meeting some of our legitimate and fact based concerns but it goes far beyond the recommendations made by the European fishing industry on certain aspects.”

The new discard policy, including the obligation to land all catches that will be introduced progressively from 2015 to 2019, will mean a very complicated process of adaptation for the fishing industry in terms of their fishing operations in a relatively short time, said the trio.

“The few flexibilities agreed through the compromise must be used to facilitate the introduction of this completely new approach by the fishing industry, on a highly complex and multifaceted problem.”

On MSY, Europêche, EAPO and Cogeca welcomed that, above the flexibility which is maintained on the deadline (2015-20), the Council reconfirmed that the management of fish stocks should be based on the exploitation rate (fishing mortality), as advocated by the European fishing industry and advised by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea ( ICES).

The three organizations emphasized that it was now up to the European Parliament to take its responsibility concerning the final shape of the CFP, ensuring that it takes in due consideration, not only the conservation policy and the sustainability of the stocks but also the socio-economic impacts of the measures and the viability of the European fishing industry.