Thursday 1st March 2012
Irish interests must be articulated re proposed changes to Common Fisheries Policy
Following an EU meeting on the proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council on the Common Fisheries Policy, Andrew Doyle TD, Chair of Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Natural Resources and Agriculture has expressed concern over the mandatory nature of the these proposals and has stressed that Ireland’s position needs to be strongly articulated over the coming months.
The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is the fisheries policy of the EU which was first put in place in 1983. It has been subject to reviews every 10 years, most recently in 2002. The next reform is scheduled to enter into force on January 1st 2013.
“As an island nation, this is a critical policy issue for Ireland. Ireland seeks to maintain a sustainable, profitable and self-reliant fishing industry which protects and enhances our rural coastal communities dependent on the seafood sector while at the same time delivering a sustainable and eco centred fisheries landscape for future generations.
“EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki expressed determination to progress this reform. The concerns from the Irish perspective are echoed to a certain extent by many of our EU neighbours and centre around the proposed Transferrable Fishing Concessions which could possibly threaten the viability of smaller family owned vessels to the advantage of larger international companies.
“It is hugely important that the appropriate measures are in place in order to retain employment in traditional coastal communities of Ireland and that the issue of management of fish stocks remain a matter of Member State competency.
“A lot of work needs to be done throughout 2012 specifically around dealing comprehensively with the issue of discards, retaining control of fish stocks and reconciling differing views both from the Member States and between Member States and the Commissioner.”