Today, the Environment committee (ENVI) in the European Parliament voted in favour of the opinion report for the CFP Basic Regulation, which had been drafted by Chris Davies (ALDE, UK).
The report had attracted 542 amendments from MEPs, conscious of the need to improve the state of fish stocks and marine ecosystems. Political groups in the Parliament agreed to narrow these down into 38 consolidated amendments, all of which were voted through by the committee.
In order to ensure the sustainability of our fisheries, ENVI has stated that stocks should be managed at their maximum sustainable yield (MSY) by 2015 and their maximum economic yield (MEY) by 2020. This long-term perspective is likely to prevent fishery collapses in the short-term and enable the industry to grow in terms of employment and be more profitable in the future.
Moreover, the committee has elected to link subsidy funding and compliance with the law more closely. They have argued that those proven to have been engaged in illegal fishing activities should be ineligible for government handouts for 5 years, at present the proposals are for a 1 year ban. Aid for modernisation should be conditional on existing vessel capacity being assessed, while the report also states that the Commission must transparently disclose fisheries aid payments in future.