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Agriculture And Fisheries Council June 2010

by the Fish Site Editor
29 June 2010, at 1:00am

EU - The Agriculture and Fisheries Council will meet in Luxembourg today (Tuesday 29 June) to discuss the Common Fisheries Policy and the future of fishing.

Ministers will discuss the reform of the common organisation of the markets in fishery and aquaculture products.

Fisheries

The fisheries-related items on the Council agenda are the Commission's Communication on the consultation on fishing opportunities for 2011, a discussion on the options for change under the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and implementation of the European Fisheries Fund.

Consultation on Fishing Opportunities for 2011

Council will hold an exchange of views on the Commission's Communication on Fishing Opportunities for 2011, adopted on 17 May (IP/10/574). This document outlines the general approach that the Commission intends to take in formulating its proposals for fishing opportunities in 2011, in pursuit of sustainability and improving fish stock.

The Commission relies on scientific advice from two international committees of experts when proposing fish quotas: the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, based in Copenhagen, and the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries. This advice will be available in July.

The Commission plans to issue its proposals for fishing opportunities for 2011 for the Baltic Sea and deep-sea species in September and for all other areas in October.

Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy: exchange of views

Member States will hold an exchange of views on the possible options to be chosen as the basis for the reform of the CFP. Commissioner Damanaki will make a presentation during the exchange of views.

The options for discussion have emerged throughout the consultation process. This process began last year with the broad consultation of Member States and stakeholders on the issues raised in the Commission's Green Paper (IP/09/617).

Since then, the reform debate has been carried forward at a series of events, including thematic seminars, a major stakeholder conference in La Coruña in May this year which was followed by an informal meeting of fisheries ministers in Vigo to discuss the Commission's synthesis document summarising the written contributions to the Green Paper, the conclusions of the conference and the external dimension of the future CFP.

Implementation of the European Fisheries Fund (EFF)

The Commission is seriously concerned at the low level of implementation of the EFF budget (2007-2013) by Member States. It has therefore asked for a discussion on EFF implementation.

As the financial crisis continues to bite across all economic sectors, it is vital that EU assistance gets to the beneficiaries as quickly as possible. Hence the need to overcome the initial hold-ups and bring EFF implementation up to cruising speed.

The Commission will pinpoint areas in which Member States can take immediate action to help speed up EFF implementation and thus ensure that EU assistance reaches the beneficiaries.

The EFF provides funding to the fishing industry and coastal communities to help them adapt to changing conditions in the sector and become economically resilient and ecologically sustainable. The EFF has a budget of €4.3 billion for 2007-2013. Funding is available for all sectors of the industry – sea and inland fishing, aquaculture (the farming of fish, shellfish and aquatic plants), and processing and marketing of fisheries products. Particular attention is given to fishing communities most affected by recent changes in the industry.

the Fish Site Editor