Committee of MEPs votes to undermine discard ban

Richard Harrington By: Richard Harrington
Date posted: 3 December 2014

Committee of MEPs votes to undermine discard ban Today (3rd December 2014) European Parliament ignored the voice of the public and stepped back from the sustainable fishing reform agreed last year.

Committee of MEPs votes to undermine discard ban Today (3rd December 2014) European Parliament ignored the voice of the public and stepped back from the sustainable fishing reform agreed last year. In voting to weaken the discard ban, the fisheries committee have muddied the waters for industry and regulators trying to make the changes we desperately need to protect our oceans. Among other damaging changes, EU parliamentarians voted to: ó Weaken penalties for illegally discarding fish, which will delay the recovery of EU fisheries and undermine efforts by fishers who follow the rules; ó Increase uncertainty by partially delaying decisions until next year, leaving industry and regulators in limbo; and ó Make it harder to set sustainable fishing levels by watering down crucial requirements to collect data on fish that is caught. The amendments passed with 20 in favour, four against and one abstention. This vote will be the basis for implementation of the landing obligation. MCS Fisheries Officer, Samuel Stone, says “This is a real set back to achieving a sustainable future for our shared fisheries. The discard ban represented a radical change in European fisheries management and was a key element of the newly reformed Common Fisheries Policy. It is extremely disappointing to not just see it undermined like this, but to see changes to its enabling regulation that may very well encourage overfishing. Thanks to the public and those UK MEPs who did vote against these damaging amendments, and to our partner NGO Client Earth for tirelessly working on the issue. Ø LATEST NEWS - 12th December 2014: The proposal now needs to be agreed by the European Council. Meetings earlier this week failed to reach agreement, so there is still hope that the discard ban won’t be undermined. MCS is working closely with Client Earth on this issue, and will update soon on any developments.

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