Ministers agree on drastic fishing cuts

EU fisheries ministers managed to agree on new fishing quotas for 2002 after 25 hours of negotiations started on Monday 17 December. The agreement imposes serious cuts in the fishing quotas for several endangered fishing species that are on the brink of extinction.

The Fisheries Council of 17 December watered down most of the Commission’s proposals. The Ministers also agreed to continue a fishing boat decommissioning scheme for another six months.

 

In a first reaction, Franz Fischler, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries said: "I am aware that the decided cuts in many allowable catches are tough for many European fishermen in the short-term. But their effort will be rewarded in the long-run. They have to fish less today to be able to fish more in the future, once the stocks have recovered".

 

The issue of overfishing and dwindling fishing stocks has become a serious challenge fot the European common Fisheries Policy. Therefore, the Commission adopted a Green Paper on the future of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) on 20 March 2001. The Green Paper recommends a radical reform of the EU fisheries policy in order to deal with problems of vulnerability of valuable fish stocks as a result of overfishing.

 

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