European fisheries policy
The Minister Delegate for Transport, Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Frédéric Cuvillier, welcomes the political agreement reached between the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Council of Fisheries Ministers regarding the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
The agreement comes as the latest figures on the state of stocks show that the major efforts already being made by fishermen to manage fish resources are bearing fruit. According to the data the European Commission has just passed on to the Council, the improvement is continuing: 61% of the fish stocks in the north-east Atlantic are being sustainably fished in 2013, compared to 27% in 2010 and 6% in 2005.
For the Minister, the agreement on reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, reached after a year of discussions between the three institutions, is “a good agreement, a good compromise, both ambitious – because its aim is to enable stocks to be fully restored – and realistic, thanks to the gradual elimination of discards”. Indeed, the agreement establishes an authorized percentage of discards, limited and subject to certain conditions, which will enable professionals to adapt.
The other points of the reform have been confirmed, particularly the rejection of Transferable Fishing Concessions, the provisions relating to regionalization, respect for the prerogatives of the institutions defined in the Lisbon Treaty, the regulation of fleet capacity, the actual recognition of France’s Outermost Regions (ORs) and the dominant role of fishermen in the Regional Advisory Councils (RACs).
Once the agreement is confirmed, the challenge will be to implement it and support fishermen in adapting to this new policy. In this regard, the Minister reiterates his wish for the CFP’s financial instrument, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), to be adopted as soon as possible./.