Andrew Duff Backs Fisheries Reform: Visit To In-Shore Fishing Industry At Southend

July 21, 2011 7:21 AM

Andrew Duff, Liberal Democrat Euro MP for the East of England, is visiting fishermen in Southend today (Thursday) to discuss the European Commission's controversial plans to reform the EU's common fisheries policy.

Duff said: "At last the Commission has come up with radical proposals for reform which, if agreed, will transform the prospects of the fishing industry in the East of England. I strongly support the plan to forbid discards of fish back into the sea and instead to include them in catchable quotas.

"I also am delighted that there are plans to decentralise much of the decision making to regional fisheries bodies which will be empowered to implement EU common policy. And I welcome the new restriction which allows quotas only to be sold to fishing companies of the same nationality: this will stop the practice whereby British and Irish fishermen sell out their quotas to the Spanish, for example.

"But there are still many issues to be resolved - including the control of the 6 to 12 mile zone and the application of the highest national standards, in this case British, to all fishing boats.

"It is a scandal that the CFP to date has not prevented fish stocks from rapid decline. Ministers in Council, and too many Members of the European Parliament have combined to ignore good scientific advice. As a result, 75% of European stocks are being overfished, EU fleet capacity has increased by 8% since 2000 (with the help of EU subsidies), and 35% of fishing enterprises are operating at a loss. This is madness.

"The goal should be a revival of North Sea fisheries on a modest but sustainable scale."

END

Note to editors: Andrew will be meeting fishermen at 2 pm today on Southend seafront where he will be discussing the impact of the Common Fisheries Policy and its impact on Inshore Fishermen.