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New opportunities for EU fishermen

EU fishermen could expand their fishing activities to the North Pacific Ocean already this year. The EU Committee on Fisheries agreed today to give consent to membership for the fishing convention in this area. MEPs voted unanimously (26-0) in favour of the report by MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen, which proposes opening up the northern pacific to EU fisheries.

“The new opportunities for EU fishing vessels are a very welcome development”, Mr Ruissen said. EU fishermen are already active in the South Pacific Ocean. This new policy would allow the same vessels to operate in northern areas directly after their trips to the south.

By accession to the Convention, the EU can actively extend its conservation approach in the world’s oceans. The fishing convention for the North Pacific explicitly protects biodiversity, prevents overfishing and ensures accurate data of fishing activities.

The plenary vote is scheduled for 14 February, after which it is up to the Council to adopt the act. Then, if approved, countries involved in the North Pacific Fishing Convention could allow EU vessels access already in March. EU vessels intend to catch mackerel, sardines and other species of fish in the northern part of the Pacific.

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