Vella addresses Europêche fishing issues
Karmenu Vella, European commissioner for the environment, maritime affairs and fisheries, has been in office for less than a year, making him somewhat the new guy on the block, but he made an effort today to reach out to the EU fishing community, meeting with members of Europêche to discuss topical fishing issues such as quotas and stock management plans.
“I am very pleased that Commissioner Vella is actively engaging with the fishing sector and has shown a great willingness to continue this open door policy into the future,” said Javier Garat, president of Europêche.
Vella told the industry group that it is the commission’s responsibility to maintain economic as well as environmental sustainability in the EU’s fisheries. "We don't want to kill the fishermen to save the fish. We need to give credit to the fishermen who made the sacrifices to achieve the objectives (we) are witnessing today. We cannot lose momentum."
Vella and Europêche also discussed their respective roles in implementing the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), which was recently updated to include new regulations such as a ban on discards. They also discussed stocks in the Mediterranean such as bluefin tuna, which has been a hot topic of debate ever since quotas were raised last fall. The commissioner also told Europêche how important its role was in fighting Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.