Yorkshire MEP welcomes EU fisheries vote to stop ‘discards’
LINDA McAvan, Labour Member of European Parliament for Yorkshire and the Humber, welcomed the approval of a new fisheries policy which was agreed at a full session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg yesterday.
The measures include an end to ‘discards’ the process of throwing accidentally caught, and often dead or dying fish back into the sea, as well as a commitment to restore fish stocks to sustainable levels.
Linda, who speaks for all Labour MEPs on fishing, said: “All Labour MEPs supported today’s changes and after months of hard work we are thrilled with the result of the vote.”
As part of a campaign led by TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, MEPs were presented with a petition of over 800,000 signatures, calling for serious reform of the CFP (Common Fisheries Policy) an end to discards and a sustainable approach to fishing.
Linda said: ‘It is estimated that over a million tons of discarded fish have been dumped back in to our seas which is a shocking and wasteful reality. It is no wonder that European citizens want to see a real change in how we manage our fisheries. Hopefully today’s vote means we can now deliver that change.”
It is estimated that over 60% of fish stocks have been overfished with campaigners arguing that there is a real danger that our fish stocks could become depleted in the not too distant future.
Linda added: “All we need now is national governments to back the changes we have agreed here today.”
Today’s vote marks the beginning of a period of negotiations between MEPs and Ministers from the EU’s 27 member states in the European Council.
Final approval of the new fisheries policy is expected later this year. This is the first time in the history of the Common Fisheries Policy that MEPs in the European Parliament now have an equal say to Government Ministers in the Council on fisheries policy.
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