Fish set to have a Merrier Christmas

Radical reforms to Europe’s common fisheries policy won strong support from MEPs today.

MEPs gave stronger than expected support to radical reforms to EU fishing policy today, voting to end the discard of perfectly edible fish and take steps to rebuild depleted fish stocks.

In a series of votes on 2500 amendments MEPs followed the lead of Tameside MEP Chris Davies, founder of the cross party ‘Fish for the Future’ group of Euro-MPs in 2010.

Davies has been campaigning for reform of the controversial Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) since being re-elected in 2009 and today’s votes marked a significant milestone in ending the practice of discarding fish, dead, into the sea just because they are over quota.

Chris said, “We have been throwing perfectly edible fish overboard while fish stocks have dropped and dropped over the last few decades.

“Meanwhile Fisheries Ministers from across the EU have met every December, listened to scientific advice, and then ignored it by setting fishing quotas far too high for fish to survive.

“With this reform in place we should finally see the number and size of fish start to recover above minimum levels and back to a level where the fishing industry is viable again.”

MEPs were voting during a once in a decade chance to change the law underpinning fishing policy across the 27 state EU.

The legislation will now need to be ratified by the entire European Parliament, prior to detailed negotiations between MEPs and Fisheries Ministers from the 27 EU countries.

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