By Lindsey Partos, SeafoodSource contributing editor, reporting from Paris
Published on 25 February, 2010
In a European Parliament plenary vote on Thursday, 456 MEPs voted in favor of the Neves report, with 50 against and 67 abstentions.
The Neves report, a response to last year's green paper tackling the shortcomings of the Common Fisheries Policy, was drafted by MEP Maria do Céu Patrão Neves of Portugal in January. The Fisheries Committee, which adopted the report, warned that "failure to adopt and implement a radical reform could result in there being neither fish nor a fishing industry by the time of the next reform."
The CFP, which governs European Union fisheries, hasn't been reformed in almost a decade.
"Parliament has sent a clear signal that the right to fish must be based on environmental and social criteria, rather than on who caught the most fish 30 years ago," said Isabella Lövin, Swedish Green MEP and coordinator of the Fisheries Committee, who "cautiously" welcomed the report.
While praising the MEPs for paving the way to make "ecological sustainability the basic premise of the CFP," Lövin warned that the report contained not-so constructive ideas, such as a refusal to accept the "destructive" influence of subsidies.
This sentiment was shared by Vera Coelho of the environmental NGO Seas At Risk and OCEAN2012, who said, "A majority of members also failed to acknowledge the established connection between fisheries subsidies and overfishing."
Also during the debate on Thursday, Scottish MEP Struan Stevenson reaffirmed to new Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki that, "We must ensure that there will be no more micro-management from the center, no more top-down over-regulation and no more one-size-fits-all approach to policy."