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MEPs vote for an end to overfishing


6 February 2013
The European Parliament voted on the European Commission’s proposal on Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform today. After three years' work from our biodiversity team, we were in Strasbourg to see it happen. The plenary vote got the best possible result:

  • introduction of sustainable fishing levels (fishing below maximum sustainable yield and recovery of stocks to above maximum sustainable yield)
  • phased discard ban (with one of the worst exemptions removed)
  • ability for Member States to stop fishing in EU marine sites
  • more transparency and access to information, and application of the Aarhus Convention generally in fisheries decision-making

Sandy Luk, Senior Lawyer at ClientEarth, said:

“The European Parliament has made a long overdue decision today, but it is no less bold and historic for that. Just one day of overfishing or throwing edible fish overboard is ludicrous. Legally enforcing such behaviour for decades may beggar belief, but reversing it takes time and patience."

“MEPs deserve our praise, for listening to the public, for saying enough is enough and for ensuring that Europe fishes within the maximum sustainable yield.”

“We’re also pleased that Member States can now prevent fisheries damaging marine protected sites, and can make fisheries data and decision-making more publicly available.”

“It’s not over, but we can afford ourselves some celebration. The European Parliament, Council and Commission now need to negotiate the final text of the reformed cfp. The strength of the Parliament’s decision today provides the foundations for a robust outcome in these negotiations.”

Read more about our work on the Common Fisheries Policy here

Image: inyucho

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