Parliament wants to make EC proposal more fishermen-friendly Published: 13 June, 2005
THE European Parliament has adopted a consultation report which introduces a number of “fishermen-friendly” changes to the Commission proposal on fishing in the Mediterranean.
The Commission proposal includes a series of technical measures related to fishing and fishing practices in the Mediterranean. Its aim is to limit the impact of fishing. In April 2004, the European Parliament rejected the Commission proposal arguing that it was politically impossible to implement it in the face of strong hostility from the fisheries sector.For example,in its proposal the Commission argued that a minimum distance from the coast should be proposed for trawl nets in order to protect coral beds and smaller-scale coastal fishing. However, according to MEPs, that distance should be reduced for hydraulic dredges precisely because of their local and artisanal nature. They thus want the use of these dredges to be authorized between 0.5 and 3 nautical miles from the coast. The mesh-size of nets and the size of fish constitute a significant part of the compromise agreement. According to it, the minimum mesh-size of towed nets should be 40 mm until the 31st of December 2006. Afterwards, it should be replaced by a square-meshed net of 40 mm at the cod-end or, at the duly justified request of the ship-owner, by a rhomboid-meshed net of 50 mm. The compromise agreement also reduces some minimum sizes of species, below which their fishing is not allowed. These include the sardines, the hake, the lobster and the sole.
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