Norway pledges to help EU with fishing reform –

Norway pledges to help EU with fishing reform Published:  06 February, 2012

NORWAY’S Fisheries Minister Lisbeth Berg-Hansen has pledged to help the European Union with its reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.

In a keynote speech to Norwegian fishing leaders in Oslo she said Norway was showing the way that it was possible to have a fishing industry without large scale subsidies.

The Minister said: “The EU is engaged in a major reform of its Common Fisheries Policy, and we will help fisheries Commissioner [Maria] Damanaki as best we can to put in place a draft ban throughout the EU.

“Then we have really achieved a great progress. We have for many years worked hard to prevent dumping in the Norwegian fisheries, many times with and sometimes against the industry. This is an important issue. That we chose to book us on a paragraph in the agreement with Russia, illustrates just how important this is. One of the measures we have to prevent drafts, the closure of fishing grounds. Dumping,she said, was an issue which concerned many people within the Norwegian fishing industry.

Turning to prawn fishing in the Barents Sea, Mrs Berg-Hansen said she recently had a meeting with this sector to discuss whether it was possible to find an alternative to long term closures.

She said: “The challenge is to find a balance between the necessary protection of juveniles, while the shrimp industry could continue making a living.” She said her department was also looking at a system for the short term closure of pelagic fisheries as a safety mechanism.

The Minister was generally in upbeat mood, adding that the Norwegian’s fishing industry had an excellent future, despite the current economic problems in many of its exports markets in Europe and the rest of the world.