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European fisheries ministers are still debating their collective response to a recent vote by the European Parliament to reform the E.U.’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

The vote, which took place earlier this month, updated the policy, addressing issues of bycatch, discards and quotas.

Now, fisheries ministers from E.U. member countries are discussing how — or if — they will implement the new policy. Some nations, notably France and Spain, have been outspoken in their resistance to changes in the policy.

However, many fisheries ministers have pledged support for the new CFP, and Saskia Richartz, fisheres policy director for Greenpeace, spoke in favor of adopting the new reforms.

“The fisheries ministers of France, Portugal and Spain, who still stubbornly oppose progress, are facing an increasingly stiff wind of change for an ambitious fisheries reform,” Richartz said in a statement.

Among other reforms, the new CFP will:

  • Oblige fishing vessels to land all catches in accordance with a schedule of specific dates for different fisheries, starting from 2014, in order to reduce discarded fish that will usually die in the ocean.
  • Set limits, starting in 2015, on quotas set by E.U. member states, preventing them from setting quotas that are too high to be sustainable.
  • Rely on multi-annual fish stock management plans, allowing for long-term planning of fishery management.


Contact Madelyn Kearns

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