Parliament fights overfishing by voting to reform subsidies
Strasbourg, 23 October 2013 - Greenpeace cautiously welcomed today’s decision by the European Parliament to cap subsidies for the modernisation of the EU fishing fleet and to reject proposals to subsidise the construction of new boats. It warned however that a number of loopholes remain that would allow governments to continue to boost the ability of Europe’s fleet to catch fish.
The European Parliament was voting on the new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), which will channel public investments for fishing and aquaculture under the implementation of the recently reformed EU Common Fisheries Policy .
Commenting on the outcome of the vote, Greenpeace EU fisheries policy director Saskia Richartz said:
“Europeans want to see healthy seas and an end to overfishing, not perverse subsidies that undermine these goals by keeping an oversized fleet afloat. The Parliament has put its weight behind positive initiatives such as the more research on stock recovery measures and the monitoring of fishing vessels. This can help make sustainable EU fisheries a reality, as long as governments now heed this call.”
Depending on the outcome of negotiations with EU governments, the new fisheries fund could increase public investments in data collection, control and enforcement, and sustainable fisheries management, and help reduce public spending on fleet modernisation and other measures that increase the environmental impact of fishing. The Council and Parliament are expected to start negotiations on a final deal in the coming month.
 Greenpeace press release, EU agrees workable deal on fisheries reform to recover fish stocks and support low-impact fishing, 30 May 2013: http://www.greenpeace.org/eu-unit/en/News/2013/EU-agrees-workable-deal-on-fisheries-reform-to-recover-fish-stocks-and-support-low-impact-fishing/.
Saskia Richartz - Greenpeace EU fisheries policy director: +32 (0) 495 290 028, Saskia.Richartz@Greenpeace.org
Ed Davitt - Greenpeace media officer: +32 (0)476 988 584, Edward.Davitt@Greenpeace.org