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Commissioner Addresses Ireland On CFP Reform

Sustainability Politics +2 more

IRELAND - Speaking at the International and European Affairs, Fisheries Commissioner, Maria Damanaki, said that she sympathised with the Irish economic situation and commented on what the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) will do for Ireland.

Commissioner Damanaki gave the speech, titled 'The reform of the Common Fisheries Policy: what's in it for Ireland', on the 22 September in Dublin.

Opening the speech, Ms Damanaki spoke of how she sympathises with the people of Ireland, as the country goes through its economic downturn.

Ms Damanaki went on to discuss the huge problems of overfishing, bringing up the much talked about statistic of 75 per cent of Europe's stocks being over fished.

Reiterating other problems she hopes the reform will address, Ms Damanaki spoke of discards, the need for economic sustainability and the need for improvement of the way policies and decisions are made.

With Ireland in mind, Ms Damanaki spoke of how the reform may benefit the country. She discussed how efficiency may be improved by introducing a system of transferable fishing concessions.

Ms Damanaki commented: "It has been shown that with transferable rights the fleet adjusts to the available marine resources much better than with subsidies."

Commenting on people's concerns with the concessions, the commissioner said she had come up with a system of safeguards that will work for Ireland.

"First, transfers are limited to the national level. Second, only fishermen can acquire fishing concessions. Third, Ireland can exempt small-scale fleets from the system. Fourth, your government can set additional safeguards to avoid excessive concentration and ensure a real economic link between the Irish quotas and the coastal communities that depend on them."

This method works through trust, and gives fishermen financial security for several years.

Talking of the future, the commissioner said that she hopes aquaculture will expand across the country, and that fisheries will become a source of wealth for fishermen, adding that "sustainability is the heart of the reform."