Local MP Norman Baker has warmly welcomed reforms to EU fishing policy which will end the ridiculous practice of fishermen having to discard fish, in a move which the MP has called "good news for Newhaven's fishermen".
On Wednesday, the 13th of June, EU Fisheries Ministers reached a break-through agreement (pdf document, 154kb) to reform the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The reforms include a ban on discarding fish, ending overfishing by 2020 and a new 'regionalisation' approach that will end centralised micro-management.*
The local MP has lobbied government Ministers on a number of occasions to reform the out-of-date EU fishing policy that was set up over two decades ago. The reforms have also been welcomed by the Lib Dems nationally as it was the Lib Dems that first called for the setting up of Regional Advisory Councils 10 years ago. The reforms agreed take a decisive step further by giving these Councils management and executive powers.
Norman says: "The banning of discards in particular is a huge step in the right direction. It was frankly ridiculous that fishermen had to throw good stock back into the sea, often when the fish had already perished. These reforms are taking a more commonsense approach and will localise decisions in a way that should benefit local fishermen. However, they also bring responsibility and it will be for fishermen to work with scientists to ensure that fisheries become more sustainable.
"I think that this also highlights the influence that the UK has when inside the EU tent - working with and positively influencing our EU partners, rather than being a lone voice on the sidelines."
* The draft reform package must now be agreed by the European Parliament under the EU's co-decision procedure.
Contact Norman at:
23 East Street,
Tel: (01273) 480281.
Fax: (01273) 480287.