Fish Fight Screening and Fisheries Policy Discussion at the Assemblée Nationale
GLOBE Europe event on fisheries held in Paris
GLOBE Member Hon. Geneviève Gaillard MP (France) hosts Fish Fight Screening and Fisheries Policy Discussion at the Assemblée Nationale. Swedish GLOBE MEP Isabella Lövin: "The European Parliament trusts to get the support of the French Government to our commitment to end these immoral and destructive discards".
The reform process of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) entered a critical phase last 6th February, when the European Parliament adopted an ambitious reform proposal in first reading which included a phased-in ban on discards of fish at sea and a plan for the restoration of fish stocks above maximum sustainable yield (MSY) levels by 2020. The report was adopted by a robust majority of 502 vs. 137 votes, with the support of cross-party majorities of all national delegations except those of Portugal and France.
After this vote, a negotiation between the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers of the EU Member States led by Irish Fisheries Minister Simon Coveney is due to start in March. Although many EU Member States are supportive of the level of ambition of the original proposal of the European Commission and of that of the European Parliament, France's position is of great importance as a key EU fishing nation and a large Member State with strong negotiating power in Council.
Against this backdrop on 12th February GLOBE Member Hon. Geneviève Gaillard MP (Socialist Party), hosted an evening session at the French Assemblée nationale on the problems of the current EU CFP. The event started with the screening of the documentary «Fish Fight» of the campaign led by British celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall against discards. The campaign has gathered over 850,000 signatures to put an end to the discarding of over 1,7 million tonnes of fish per year, or between a quarter and a third of fish caught. For practical reasons or for regulatory reasons, fishermen reject perfectly edible fish into the sea, while stocks are suffering from overfishing.
After the screening French legislators had an opportunity to exchange views for over an hour with Didier Gascuel, President of the French Fisheries Association, Imanol Ugartemendia, artisanal fisherman from the port of St-Jean de Luz, and GLOBE Member Isabella Lövin MEP (Sweden, European Parliament).
Isabella Lövin MEP, representing the GLOBE legislators engaged on CFP reform who have also promoted national and regional CFP reform parliamentary roundtables in London, Stockholm, Warsaw, Berlin, Rome and the European Parliament over the last year, told her French colleagues:
«Ending discards is a key point for the restoration of European waters and for creating a better future for fishermen. The European Parliament voted on 6 February to achieve sustainable fishing quotas by 2015 in order to rebuild fish stocks by 2020. This goal can only be achieved if we put an end to fish discards at sea, because if we stop wasting these fish, stocks can rebuild faster, and we will also have a much better knowledge of actual withdrawals from stocks. The European Parliament trusts to get the support of the French Government to our commitment to end these immoral and destructive discards, a practice of the past. The citizens of European demand this!»
The Irish Presidency of the EU expects to broker a compromise between the European Parliament and Council by June 2013.