Monday, 12th September 2011
Struan Stevenson MEP backs WWF’s More Fish Campaign
Struan Stevenson MEP has publicly given his backing to WWF’s More Fish campaign, which is demanding real and effective reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
On 10 September 2011 Struan Stevenson, MEP met with WWF staff to talk about the problems associated with the CFP and discussed how to solve them under the reform process.
Fisheries make up a substantial part of the Scottish coastal economy, so it is in our interests to ensure that the reform of the CFP improves the health of Scottish seas and fish stocks, guaranteeing a long term future for the communities that depend on them.
Momentum is building for reform of the CFP, with the Commission’s proposals recently published on 13 July and MEPs debating the reform package in the Autumn and Spring 2012. Ministers and MEPs across Europe will have the chance to shape the reform of the CFP and WWF will be calling on Ministers and Parliamentarians across Europe to take the Commission’s proposal as a starting point for a more ambitious and conservation-minded reform. Only their political commitment to a transformation of Europe’s fisheries management can ensure the recovery of Europe’s fish stocks and lead to more stable jobs for fishermen and a profitable industry.
The Common Fisheries Policy to date has led to overfishing and the large scale discards of edible fish. This is a once in a decade opportunity to fix this ‘broken’ policy.
Struan Stevenson MEP said:
“CFP reform is a crucial topic for the European Parliament and negotiations over the details of the European Commission’s proposals will be tough. Whatever the outcome of the upcoming debate, we cannot allow this opportunity to pass without seizing the chance to break the cycle of mismanagement and decline that has been the hallmark of the centralised CFP until now. This is our only chance to establish a new management system that can maintain relative stability, bring about an end to discards, achieve the ecosystem and environmental standards that we believe are crucial to provide for a sustainable future and at the same time, ensure a commercially profitable livelihood for our fishermen."
Dr Richard Dixon, Director of WWF Scotland said:
“Fishing plays an important role in Scotland’s economy so it is crucial we safeguard its future. Our More Fish campaign aims to fix the broken CFP so everyone will benefit from healthy fish stocks in the longer term - from fishermen and the local communities that depend on healthy seas to the people that enjoy eating fish. Although Scotland is making strides in fisheries management under the Scottish Conservation Credit Scheme, 70% of European fish stocks are still overfished, iconic species are disappearing and coastal communities are being run down. We can fix this problem if there is the political will to do so. The more people that sign our petition, the stronger the message being sent to the European Parliament to take reforming fisheries seriously.”
Struan Stevenson is a Conservative Euro MP for Scotland and Senior Vice-President of the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee.
 WWF’s More Fish Campaign: http://www.wwfscotland.org.uk/morefish
WWF’s More Fish campaign Petition:
To the president of the European Parliament Most of Europe’s fisheries are over-fished. These problems re being driven by the European CFP, which is forcing fishermen to discard and waste fish even though they are struggling to keep their businesses profitable. With the biggest threat to marine wildlife from overfishing, we believe that the Common Fisheries Policy needs to be ambitiously reformed to allow our seas to recover and for fishing dependent businesses to thrive. We call on the European Union to end overfishing and ensure our fisheries and marine environment can thrive again by reforming the Common Fisheries Policy.
We ask for:
• Sustainable management – every commercial fishery must be managed under a long-term management plan designed to ensure the sustainable management, recovery and rebuilding of fish stocks and marine ecosystems.
• Effective regionalisation – fisheries must be managed regionally, linking fishing rights and responsibilities to improving ecosystem health and enhancing the economic resilience of the fishing fleets.
• Fair fishing abroad – the principles of the policy must apply to all European fisheries and fishing boats wherever they operate in the world.
• Improved quality – an integrated and coherent set of policies across the supply chain, so that fishermen catch what’s needed when it’s needed, avoiding waste and adding value at all stages along the way, from net to plate.