Damanaki: “Nuestro sistema actual no funciona”

By

Steven Hedlund

Published on
July 12, 2011

Maria Damanaki, comisaria europea de Pesca, reveló el miércoles al Parlamento Europeo sus esperadas propuestas de reforma para la criticada Política Pesquera Común de la UE.

“Nuestro sistema actual no favorece la sostenibilidad: el 75% de las especies europeas están sometidas a sobreexplotación y un tercio de ellas se encuentran en una situación preocupante”, declaró Damanaki en la conferencia de prensa concedida tras hacer públicas sus propuestas de reforma. “Si no se lleva a cabo una reforma, solo 8 de las 136 especies estarán saludables en 2022. Seguir como hasta ahora ya no es una opción”.

Damanaki propuso que todas las reservas de pescado de la UE alcancen niveles sostenibles para 2015 adoptando un enfoque ecosistémico en la gestión de los recursos, basado en el mejor criterio científico disponible.

Para ello, Damanaki ha propuesto que la controvertida práctica de descartar pescado lanzándolo al mar se vaya eliminando progresivamente con el paso del tiempo. “Todas las capturas deberán llevarse a tierra y contabilizarse dentro de las cuotas” declaró.

Damanaki propuso introducir en 2014 cuotas de pesca transferibles, o “concesiones”, para los barcos de más de 12 metros de eslora. Los estados miembro serán los encargados de distribuir dichas concesiones de una manera transparente y los armadores podrán alquilar o intercambiar sus concesiones con empresas dentro de su mismo estado, pero no con las de otros estados miembros. Dichas concesiones tendrían una validez mínima de 15 años.

Damanaki said the new system would give the EU fishing industry more flexibility and greater accountability while reducing overcapacity. Additionally, small-scale fisheries would be exempted from transferable catch shares. The EU’s small-scale fishing fleet represents 77 percent of the total number of vessels but only 8 percent of the total catch in terms of volume.

Damanaki also addressed “micro-management from Brussels” — a common criticism of the existing CFP, last reformed in 2002 — explaining that the new CFP would take a more regional approach to fisheries management whereby member states would implement measures and cooperate at regional level. She said the new CFP would include provisions to ensure that the member states adopt measures that are compatible and effective.

Damanaki also touched on aquaculture, emphasizing the need to implement a regulatory framework for sustainable fish farming to increase the EU’s seafood production and reduce its dependence on imported product. She proposed that members states be required to draft national strategic plans to remove administrative barriers and uphold environmental, social and economic standards. An Aquaculture Advisory Council would also be established to support the industry.

The release of Damanaki’s reform proposals kicks off a series off discussions, beginning with the EU Council of Ministers on 19 July, that will continue through the implementation of the new CFP in 2013. Whether her proposals will see the light of day rests with her ability to convince Members of European Parliament (MEPs) and members states that her approach will work.

During the press conference, Damanaki fielded a question about whether members states will be able to put aside their differences and won’t simply defend their own interests.

“Nobody is completely ready for change. But we have to try,” replied Damanaki. “We will use all of the means at our disposal to help members states adjust. We can’t afford to do business as usual any more. If we don’t do it, our children will see fish not on their plates but only in pictures. We need change.

“My difficulties now begin,” she added. “We have to persuade members states, the [seafood] sector, Parliament — we need everyone to cooperate.”

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