Wednesday, 14th March 2012
Stevenson backs case for radical overhaul of fisheries funding
Scottish Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson has called for an urgent and radical overhaul of the way EU funding for the fisheries sector is allocated.
Speaking last night (13 March), Mr Stevenson stressed that efforts to reform the European Marine Fisheries Fund (EMFF) must bear in mind last year’s urgent warning by the EU Court of Auditors that current implementation of fisheries funding directly causes over-capacity of the EU fleet, preventing the achievement of Maximum Sustainable Yields (MSY) or a sustainable fishery.
Speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Struan Stevenson MEP said:
“We need to take on board the key criticisms of the Auditors before we set about creating the framework for the new European Maritime & Fisheries Fund. Their main complaint was centred on the over-capacity of the EU fleet. They stated that although the alignment of fishing capacity to fishing opportunities is one of the cornerstones of the CFP and the EFF, fishing over-capacity has never been defined or quantified.
“Commissioner Damanaki said in a recent speech that building up healthy fish stocks in our waters is in itself the best way to increase our fishermen's income. But we cannot hope to build up fish stocks unless we tackle the over-capacity of the EU fleet. And we cannot tackle overcapacity if we use taxpayers' money to subsidise the construction of new fishing vessels, or the modernisation of existing vessels or indeed the upgrading of engines supposedly to make them more fuel-efficient and to cut CO2 emissions.
“Such modernisation and upgrading will simply enhance the catching ability of the fleet and do nothing to help us achieve MSY or a sustainable fishery. So let us take heed of the Court’s warnings and ensure that the EMFF is used to best effect in the future for funding selective gear, for safety on board vessels, for marketing, for POs and for boosting EU aquaculture.”
Notes to Editors
1. Struan Stevenson is a Conservative Euro MP for Scotland. He is Vice President of the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee and President of the Climate Change, Biodiversity & Sustainable Development Intergroup of more than 200 MEPs.
2. He has been appointed by the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee as its rapporteur on the common organisation of the markets in fishery and aquaculture.
3. The European Court of Auditors 2011 special report on European fisheries funding can be found at: http://eca.europa.eu/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/10544728.PDF
4. For further information, please contact:
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