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Grobarczyk: A significant breakthrough for EU fisheries policy

6 February 2013

Grobarczyk: A significant breakthrough for EU fisheries policy

The European Parliament has today voted through a major reform of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy. The changes mainly concern the decentralisation of fisheries management, with the transfer of powers from Brussels to national governments, local authorities and fishermen.

The European Parliament has today voted through a major reform of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy.

The changes mainly concern the decentralisation of fisheries management, with the transfer of powers from Brussels to national governments, local authorities and fishermen. The report also provides a discard ban reform (ending the practice where fishermen throw back edible fish due to EU quotas or the small size of the fish). Moreover, the changes also imply greater support for small and medium-sized fish farms.

According to the MEP Marek Gróbarczyk, ECR Group coordinator for fisheries, the report is very balanced and represents a significant breakthrough in the field of fisheries:

“The current Common Fisheries Policy cast a dark shadow thanks to its concept of centralised management, without taking into account the specific nature of different fisheries” – said the PiS MEP during the debate in the parliament yesterday.

Gróbarczyk said that the essential element of the reform is to leave fishing rights in the hands of the EU Member States.

“The biggest paradox of the current common fisheries policy is that it contributes to the degradation of the environment and the fishing industry.”

“If the commission introduces quotas then this is detrimental to fisheries because we only see the resources in financial terms.” – said Marek Gróbarczyk and announced that the ECR group would support the proposed changes.

The ECR adopted the Windsor Declaration in 2011 setting out principles for fisheries reform – the Windsor Declaration (see

http://goo.gl/FghuC

) – which provides for the end of top-down micro-management from Brussels, the transfer of responsibility for managing day to day affairs to the Member States, and an end to discards.

The following text of Mark Gróbarczyk in plenary:

“The Common Fisheries Policy needs reform, we all feel – for fishermen, processors, coastal communities and the environment. The current Common Fisheries Policy cast a dark shadow thanks to its concept of centralised management, without taking into account the specific nature of different fisheries. The most significant and incomprehensible result of the current common fisheries policy is a waste of thousands of tons of healthy fish because of discards. The biggest paradox of the current common fisheries policy is that it contributes to the degradation of the environment and the fishing industry.

“The Common Fisheries Policy is based on several fundamental pillars – regionalisation is essential to a much greater extent than in the past and it will shape the rules of individual basins. The second key element of the common fisheries policy is to leave the fishing rights decisions to the Member States. If the commission introduces quotas then this is detrimental to fisheries because we only see the resources in financial terms.

“Another common element is the protection of small-scale fisheries. These family businesses have the ability to create many jobs in the coastal regions and they must be sustained.

“The last element is aquaculture, which must be complementary to the fishing industry and its development significantly increases job opportunities. The new Common Fisheries Policy provides opportunities for the development of aquaculture.

“The ECR group supports these reforms.”

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