Stop Wrecking Reform,Ministers Told –

Stop Wrecking Reform,Ministers Told Fishing Monthly Published:  05 June, 2003

FISHERIES Ministers’ failure to agree to European Commission plans for fisheries sector reform has seriously endangered what is left of European fish stocks, according to a new UK Parliamentary report.

A House of Lords Committee has evaluated the reform package that emerged from the EU at the end of 2002.

The Chairman of the inquiry, Lord Selborne said:”While the package includes some positive features – including a stronger commitment to the marine environment – overall the reforms are extremely disappointing.

“It’s absurd that European tax-payers continue to subsidise over-capacity in this sector. Fleets need to be substantially reduced and the size of the catches reduced to match the reality of dangerously low fish stocks.We can only hope to create a sustainable fishing industry when short-sighted EU Member States stop wrecking the Commission’s excellent plans for reform.

“We need to act urgently on the plan to set up Regional Advisory Councils. Fishermen, scientists, environmentalists and consumers need to be at the heart of the management process where it matters – in the fishing regions!”

*Meanwhile UK MP Austin Mitchell’s Bill aimed at restoring UK control over its own fishing grounds has cleared its first parliamentary hurdle thanks to an unopposed first reading .