Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mixed feelings amongst the European Fishing Industry regarding the political agreement in the Council of the EU on the implementation of the discard ban

Following the political agreement reached this morning in the Council of the EU on the implementation of the discard ban and the possibility of by-catch quotas, the Presidents of EuropĂȘche, Javier Garat, and of the Copa-Cogeca FISH WG, Giampaolo BUONFIGLIO, have first of all recalled that the progressive maximal reduction of discards constitutes, according to the fishing industry in Europe, a priority target of the future CFP.

They have declared: "We take note of the important step that has been reached by the establishment of a gradual timetable for the progressive implementation of the discard ban and by the introduction of management tools to help the fishing industry to adapt to the obligation to land all catches".

Following the first general approach adopted by the Council in June 2012, and subject to further scrutiny of this second approach, the two Presidents still believe that there are still many outstanding issues to be resolved, particularly for the practical implementation of a discard ban across Europe and its consequences both onboard of vessels (storage capacity) and onshore (fish processing facilities).

EuropĂȘche and Cogeca also consider essential to "minimize the socio-economic impact of a discard ban on fishing communities by accompanying targeted measures and investments which contribute to improve selectivity of fishing gears".

Both organizations look forward that discussions which will shortly begin in the trialogue, on the basis of the agreement of the Council of the EU, the first reading position of the European Parliament and the initial Commission proposal, will take due account of the legitimate concerns expressed repeatedly by the European fisheries sector.

Image courtesy of USFWS via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)