Aquaculture for all

Fisheries Council Meeting to Discuss Common Fisheries Policy Reform

Economics Politics

EU - The Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting of January 2013 takes place in Brussels today (28 January 2013), under the presidency of Mr Simon Coveney, Irish Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The council will discuss the Common Fisheries Policy reform among other issues.


Commissioner Maria Damanaki represents the Commission for Fisheries points on the agenda (Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, fisheries negotiations between EU and Norway and Multi-annual management plans), which are dealt with on Monday morning. A press conference will be held for each session at the end of the discussions. The public debates and the press conferences can be followed by video streaming.

Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy

This first Council under Irish Presidency discusses the Common Fisheries Policy Reform Package, presented by the Commission in July 2011. In particular, the discussions will focus on setting a calendar for the next steps. More specifically, the Proposals on the table are:

  • the main Regulation for the Reform,
  • the Regulation on the Common Organisation of the Markets in Fishery and Aquaculture Products
  • the Regulation on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

The objective of the reformed fisheries policy is to end overfishing and make fishing sustainable - environmentally, economically and socially. The new policy aims to:

  • bring fish stocks back to sustainable levels by setting fishing opportunities based on scientific advice,
  • provide EU citizens with a stable, secure and healthy food supply for the long term,
  • bring new prosperity to the fishing sector, end dependence on subsidies and create new opportunities for jobs and growth in coastal areas.

The new fund, EMFF, will help deliver the ambitious objectives of the reform and will help fishermen in the transition towards sustainable fishing, as well as coastal communities in the diversification of their economies. The fund will finance projects that create new jobs and improve quality of life along European coasts. It will replace the existing European Fisheries Fund (EFF) and a number of other instruments. The proposed envelope amounts to 6.5 billion for the period 2014 to 2020.


The Commission is informing the Council on the fisheries negotiations between EU and Norway and the Council will exchange views on the Proposal for a Regulation on certain technical and control measures in the Skagerrak, proposed by the Commission in August 2012.

Under the proposal, the EU and Norway are to harmonize technical and control measures for fisheries in the Skagerrak to ensure long-term sustainability of fish stocks. It notably features an obligation to land all catches of certain fish species to stop the practice of discarding.

Multi-annual Management Plans

During lunch, there will be a ministerial debate on the Multi-Annual Management Plans. The Commissions proposals on the Reform of the CFP gave Multi-Annual Plans a central role in the new CFP; however, the adoption of new plans has been blocked for three years over a disagreement between the institutions on the powers to adopt legal acts under Article 43 of the Lisbon Treaty.

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