Sustainable fishing moves one step closer – The Wildlife Trusts

12th February 2013
Sustainable fishing moves one step closer – The Wildlife Trusts
A fisheries policy which has resulted in overfishing, damage to fragile marine habitats and a failure to properly support sustainable fishing practices is set to be updated, in a move welcomed by The Wildlife Trusts.
Today the European Parliament voted on the Fisheries Committee proposals on reform to the Common Fisheries Policy. This was an opportunity for MEPs to overhaul a fisheries policy that is widely recognised to have failed.
This is a truly historic vote which should set European fisheries back on a course to healthier seas and sustainable fishing activity
Applause broke out in the Parliament as MEPs overwhelmingly voted for ambitious reform, voting to end overfishing and rebuild fish stocks by no later than 2015, following proper scientific advice and adopting the precautionary principle to set annual quotas for catch. They also voted to ban discards and voted down an amendment to weaken this ban and supported rewarding fishermen who fish in more environmentally and socially sustainable ways with priority access to the resource.
Joan Edwards, Head of Living Seas at The Wildlife Trusts, says: “This is a truly historic vote which should set European fisheries back on a course to healthier seas and sustainable fishing activity. This in turn should lead to a healthier fishing industry and the communities that it supports and an end to wasteful discards. 2013 could turn out to be the year that we start to care for our fragile seas. Next step: the Government needs to compliment this decision by forging ahead with an ecologically coherent network of Marine Conservation Zones.”