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EU Common Fisheries Policy finally reformed

01/06/2013

Lifeline thrown to local, small-scale British fishermen.

The European Parliament yesterday signed-off on a reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), which has been hailed for ending the scandal of dead "discard" fish being thrown back into the sea and ceding power away from Brussels.

The EU now has to follow scientific advice more closely when setting quotas in the future which could increase EU fish stocks by up to 16.5 million tons by 2020.

At present, small-scale fishermen have access to just 4% of the UK’s fishing quota – despite making up three quarters of the UK’s fishing fleet . In contrast, the majority of quota is currently allocated to a small number of large organisations.

Under the new CFP deal, member states will have to take into account “environmental, social and economic criteria” when allocating fishing quotas; this gives Fisheries Minister, Richard Benyon, a clear mandate to reward those fishermen who operate sustainably and feed back into the local economy.

The deal must now be rubber-stamped by EU governments and the full European Parliament before entering force next year.
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