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Fisheries Deal Fails to Bridge Gap with Ambitious European Parliament

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EU - After pulling yet another all-nighter, fisheries ministers unfortunately remained predictable with little effort being made to meet the European Parliament half way on their ambitious proposal to save fisheries in Europe.

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“The devil is in the detail as they say, but in this case it’s the lack of detail, as fisheries ministers decided on a legally neutral text with few binding timelines and concrete measures. If implemented it would enable them to continue badly managing our oceans and ruining our fish stocks for yet another decade." says Roberto Ferrigno, WWF’s Common Fisheries Policy reform coordinator.

"On the opposite side of the coin, the European Parliament demands an ambitious reform that would deliver new fishing laws aimed at restoring fish stocks, through transparency, fixed timelines, accountability and enforceability”

“This new law that is currently in the making will be used for the next 10 years to protect our oceans and fish stocks. A new WWF analysis¹ shows that recovery of fish stocks could take more than 100 years under current proposals by EU Fisheries Ministers, whereas with the Parliament’s offer, it could only take 10 years for 75 per cent of the stocks to recover – the latter is by far the better deal and it’s what we urgently need”, concludes Ferrigno.

The council has dealt its cards and it is now up to the European Parliament, led by MEP Ulrike Rodust, to decide whether they accept the so-called ‘compromise’ that the council is offering - or whether they reject it and stand their ground by sticking to their ambitious position for reform. It remains to be seen if they will use their new co-decision powers to say “no deal now is better than a bad deal for the next 10 years”, or not.

Further Reading

You can view the results of the council meeting by clicking here.

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