Last-ditch attempt to halt new European conservation proposals –

Last-ditch attempt to halt new European conservation proposals Published:  19 November, 2009

THE National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations is fighting a last ditch attempt halt new European conservation proposals which it has described as ‘reckless and irreponsible’. It has written to the UK fisheries minister Huw Irranca-Davies urging him to intervene before they are approved tomorrow.

It says the the European Commission’s proposal for new technical conservation rules is a travesty, breaking  all the principles of good governance. The reason that the Commission has belatedly decided to force a new technical conservation onto the statute books  is to beat the arrival of the Lisbon Treaty, when all fisheries legislation, apart  from the year end TACs and effort levels, will be subject to co-decision making with the European parliament. The new proposal is substantially different in structure and detail from the approach previously outlined and discussed with the regional advisory councils. And the truncated time frame before adoption by the Council of Ministers tomorrow (Friday) means that unless a blocking minority of member states can be found, the Regulation, and with it the dozens of errors, confusions it contains, will become law on 1st January. At present the NFFO  says it has identified 35 necessary changes –some to prevent the economic collapse of particular fleet, some for safety on deck reasons and yet others to avoid unnecessary discards. The core of the proposal, from the Commission’s point of view, is the provisions that would transfer decision making powers from the Council of Ministers to the Commission. It argues that this arrangement is necessary to avoid the long delays associated with co-decision making.