Today the European Parliament and the Fisheries Council reached a political agreement on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the financial mechanism that will allow the implementation of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy over the next seven years. Previous fisheries subsidies schemes have given priority to short-term economic interests at the expense of sustainability, using taxpayer’s money to increase fleet capacity and fund overfishing. Oceana supports the efforts of the European Parliament and Council to stop this toxic pattern, and shift spending towards beneficial measures such as control and data collection
“Despite the poor state of the stocks, Member States have, for years, provided subsidies to artificially keep Europe’s fleet alive. We welcome the recent decisions to target subsidies towards measures that will help rebuild our fish stocks and put them on track to sustainability,” said Xavier Pastor, executive director of Oceana in Europe.
However, Oceana is disappointed that both institutions have chosen to ignore the risks associated with certain environmentally harmful subsidies, like those for new engines and the temporary cessation of fishing activity. Choosing to allocate subsidies for engine replacement, is a dangerous move, as more efficient engines contribute to an increase in fishing capacity.
“The burden of proof lies on each Member State as they begin to define their internal expenditure programs. If they are willing to walk the talk, their commitment to stop spending public money on environmentally destructive measures will become a reality,” added Vanya Vulperhorst, policy officer at Oceana in Europe.
The deal still needs to be approved by the Plenary of the European Parliament.
Learn more: Subsidies