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Rebuilding fish stocks in the Mediterranean Sea: Don’t pass the buck to the fishermen

“Don’t pass the buck to the fishermen. Protecting the supply of fish in the sea is a task that must involve all concerned stakeholders,” says ECR Rapporteur Raffaele Stancanelli. The statement follows the unanimous approval of his report in the Committee on Fisheries of the European Parliament, which detailed the need to rebuild fish stocks in the Mediterranean. For Stancanelli, sustainability of the marine environment and its fish can only be achieved through the controlled use of resources rather than the prohibition of all fishing activity.

Speaking after the vote, Mr. Stancanelli said:

“We gave an important indication of our support to a sector that is often blamed as the only culprit for the poor Mediterranean marine environment and its fragile fish stocks.

“We have always been in favour of environmental protection, but it cannot be at the cost of all economic activity. Data related to fish stocks must continuously be updated through a transparent mechanism that directly involves operators in decision-making processes.

Additionally, the report recognises that EU fishermen often face dangerous situations because third countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea don’t respect international agreements.

“This result is also significant for issues pertaining to the territoriality of our waters. It demonstrates how international agreements must be respected to ensure our fishermen can perform their jobs safely, putting an end to the attacks against our fishing vessels as recently witnessed,” Stancanelli added.

The report will be voted during the September plenary session.

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