Aquaculture for all

EU Fisheries Ministers Want Decentralised Decisions

Sustainability Politics

EU - More possibilities for decentralised decisions was a theme at Friday's Council meeting where EU Fisheries Ministers discussed the Commissions proposals on transferable fishing concessions and regionalisation of fisheries management.

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More decentralised decisions are to contribute to ensuring more sustainable fisheries in the future. This is the main idea in the Commissions proposal on regionalisation that was discussed at Fridays meeting in Luxembourg.

The EU fisheries Ministers agree that regionalisation is a right solution for achieving the objective of sustainable fisheries. The question is how to do it in real life.

Regionalisation is all about making the right decisions at the right levels, thus getting rid of micro-management from Brussels. At the same time we must ensure a level playing field. At todays meeting we have received many constructive proposals,that will be included in the future work on the reform, says the Council chair, Mette Gjerskov, and stresses that the overall objective is to ensure more sustainable fisheries.

Trade in fish quotas

An important issue in the reformation of the Common Fisheries Policy is to create a balance between the fishing capacity and the actual fishing opportunities. As a tool for reaching this objective, the Commission has proposed a mandatory system of transferable fishing concessions. This means that fishermen may buy and sell their quotas.

Fridays debate demonstrated that a majority of EU Fisheries Ministers oppose to a mandatory system for selling and buying of quotas. Some Member States are worried that the trade may lead to a concentration of ownership with negative social impact on coastal communities.

It is important to eliminate excess capacity and more national co-decision may be reasonable whether it is with regard to trading fish quotas or other measures. The main thing is to find effective solutions. All Member States must contribute to a more sustainable development, states Mette Gjerskov.

Denmark has introduced transferable fishing quotas. But I am fully aware that it does not mean that it will work well in all Member States. What works well in one place may have the opposite effect in another, says Mette Gjerskov.

The Danish Presidency aims at reaching a general approach on the Fisheries Reform at the Council meeting in June.

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