Agreement on Common Fisheries Policy reform

The Commission together with the Parliament and Council as co-legislators, have reached an agreement on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy during the final trilogue meeting on Wednesday the 29th May.

The agreement sees the culmination of an extended process which begun with a lengthy consultation process that in turn led to an ambitious 2011 package of reform proposals by the European Commission. The agreement now reached comes following a series of talks between the Irish Presidency, led by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, and the European Parliament, with the Commission acting as facilitator. The last remaining issues to be solved related to the four key issues of the Maximum Sustainable Yield objective, the discard ban, regionalisation and fleet capacity management.

Commissioner Damanaki said: "This is a historical step for all those involved in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors. We are going to change radically the way we fish in the future.

1. We are paving the way for a sustainable future for our fishermen and our industry. We are going to do that by bringing fish stocks above sustainable levels. By aligning our fishing opportunities with scientific advice. By stopping discarding, catching fish and throwing it back dead into the sea and by stopping all other wasteful practices.

2. Also we are going to apply the same principles when we are fishing abroad. We will fully respect international law and our commitments.

3. We are going to stop having all the decision-making taking place in Brussels. Micromanagement will not be the way we operate anymore. We are going for regionalisation, to work together with the regional authorities & stakeholders to find specific and tailor-made solutions for each problem.

4. Lastly, we are going to change our market policy by providing better information for the consumers so our fishermen can get for the fish the price it deserves.

The CFP reform is a powerful driver for growth and jobs, at a time when Europe most needs it.

The next step, for me, is to take the same proactive attitude towards the implementation of the reforms, to make sure that they are a success for the industry, for our citizens and for Europe's economy."

More information available here and in the EU press releases.