EU Proposals for Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy
HC 1563-I, Twelfth Report of Session 2010-12 - Volume I: Report, Together with Formal Minutes
- House of Commons - Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
The conclusions of the report 'EU Proposals for Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (HC 1563-I)' identify the need for radical reform to ensure that the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) delivers for the fish, the fishermen, and the coastal communities that depend on them.
The widespread desire to deliver a more local approach to fisheries management is hampered by the EU's exclusive competence over the conservation of marine resources under the CFP, as only the EU can make rules regarding fisheries conservation.
Although the Commission does not wish to consider the feasibility of a full-scale change in Treaty policy, they do propose an amendment of the CFP regulation as a workable alternative. This approach would give Member States genuine freedom and responsibility and would set clear boundaries to the role of the Commission.
The Commission also want to implement a discard ban on many commercial species starting in 2014, but MPs are questioning whether the proposal will prove effective. A gradual approach is needed built on a sound scientific base and the local experience of fishermen, to find workable solutions to the discard problem that has blighted European fisheries.
The Committee urges the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) not to abandon its commitment to domestic fisheries reform that delivers a fairer deal to small-scale fishermen. A new mechanism is proposed to reallocate unused fishing rights from 'slipper skippers' to active fishermen - a topic that was covered in an earlier report on the CFP and domestic fisheries management (see below).
Additional oral and written evidence for this report is also available (see below).
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