MEPs reject necessary conservation measures, putting region’s already overfished stocks at high risk of total collapse
Oceana warns emergency closures to fishing could be only option to fix Mediterranean fish crisis and to comply with EU law
The European Parliament voted today to adopt the first-ever multiannual plan for fishing in the Western Mediterranean Sea but rejected the necessary conservation measures that would fix the region’s overfishing crisis, where over 80% of stocks are overexploited and some at risk of collapse. Today’s outcome means MEPs in the European Parliament's Committee on Fisheries (PECH) have flouted their duty to end overfishing by 2020 at the latest, which they endorsed back in 2013 under the legally-binding Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
In response to today’s outcome, Lasse Gustavsson, executive director of Oceana Europe, released the following statement:
“Members of the European Parliament are not only undermining the law, but they are also putting at risk the future of fishing in the Western Mediterranean. With the plan as it stands now, there will be less Mediterranean fish on the tables in France, Italy and Spain, fewer jobs in the fishing industry and destructive fishing methods will continue to destroy the oceans and marine life. If the European Parliament wants to uphold the law, they will soon have no other option than to close fisheries in order to avoid an irreversible collapse of fish stocks. How will they explain that to their citizens?”
Eight out of ten fish stocks in the Western sub-region of the Mediterranean are overfished, including important species like hake, mullets and shrimps. Apart from allowing severe overfishing to continue in the Mediterranean Sea, the following key measures were also rejected:
Oceana is also strongly concerned that the Western Mediterranean multiannual plan will now be directly negotiated with the Council of the EU in the coming weeks – in an undemocratic process known as ‘trilogues’ – and without a vote in plenary in the European Parliament, which is a controversial departure from normal procedure.
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