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Ministers Sign Fisheries Declarations

by the Fish Site Editor
04 March 2011, at 12:00am

EU - Ministers from the UK, Denmark, France and German, have signed a declaration that backs the gradual introduction of fish discard bans and commits the four countries to an ambitious reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). WWF challenged the Ministers to encourage other member states to share these views and help make them a reality.

WWF said the declaration, which follows this week’s high-level meeting on discards, contains some very positive commitments - including the sustainable use of fisheries resources based on the best available scientific knowledge and ambitious CFP reform with integrated conservation objectives to deliver ecosystem-based fisheries management.

Giles Bartlett, Fisheries Policy Officer at WWF-UK, said: “We welcome this declaration and now want to see Ministers champion these views across Europe and help make them a reality. If they are truly committed, we would like to see Member States supporting the creation of ecosystem-based, long-term fishery management plans now, where bycatch and discard reduction strategies are prioritised.”

WWF particularly welcomes the Ministers’ call for moving to a system of genuine catch quota, whereby whatever is caught is also landed, and the prospect of a regionalised fisheries management. Reshaping the CFP to allow for local solutions against centrally set objectives is indeed the way forward according to WWF as is the introduction of long-term management plans for fisheries - not just for stocks.

Mr Bartlett added: "WWF's experience from the best performing fisheries globally show that those that do best operate under a system of co-management, where Member States and stakeholders connected to the fishery develop the management measures to achieve sustainable solutions for the fishery. The reformed CFP must deliver a structure which gives the fishing industry and the environment the best opportunity to flourish.”

the Fish Site Editor