Industry, NGO react to EU CFP vote
The leading European fishing industry group and one environmental NGO are weighing in on opposite sides of a new vote by the European Fisheries Committee on amendments to the CFP.
The committee voted on what it called “Omnibus Regulation” dealing mostly with landing regulations for fisheries in the EU. The rules would be applied to the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), which EU officials recently updated after lengthy negotiations both with NGOs and the industry.
Activist group Seas at Risk criticized a number of proposed new provisions, including a 50kg minimum required catch for reporting purposes, which the group argued allows “huge amounts of unmonitored fish” to be caught without reporting them. The group also criticized proposals to provide a 2-year window for not complying with landing regulations and limit application of regulations to only one year, meaning it will be decided on a year-by-year basis, rather than according to a long-term plan.
“Today’s vote is seriously undermining the reformed Common Fisheries Policy, which was only came into force a year ago, with the support of millions of citizens,” said Monica Verbeek, executive director of Seas At Risk. “If this position is supported by Council and the European Parliament, it would do away with fully documented fisheries, a level playing field for the compliance with the landing obligation, and a more inclusive definition of unintended catches.”
Javier Garat, president of Europeche, an industry group representing EU fisheries, called the committee’s vote a step toward “a workable and more flexible framework for the landing obligation.” He praised the committee for supporting “more flexibility” in catch storage, and elimination of redundant licensing requirements.
“I am pleased that the Committee has taken into consideration some of Europeche's concerns over several unworkable proposals such as impossible quota calculations to be made before each fishing trip and irrational thresholds for the recording of catches," Garat said.