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Proposal from European Parliament risks marine ecosystems and fish stocks

On the 16th of January 2018 the European Parliament voted on a proposal to merge and simplify a set of rules within current fisheries legislation. The organization Seas At Risk says that despite that the legislation´s aim is to reduce the impacts of fisheries on the marine environment, the proposal adopted only weakens existing legislation that served to protect the seas in Europe.

The European Parliaments voting process began in November last year when the Fisheries Committee proposed the changes in the current legislation. In short, the proposal merges more than 30 existing regulations and directives, all aimed at minimizing the impacts of fishing on ecosystems. Click here to read more about the proposal. Seas At Risk suggests that the proposal seriously weakens or deletes several existing measures that protects the ecosystem. Björn Stockhausen, Fisheries Policy Officer at Seas At Risk, says that the majority of European parliamentarians who voted were influenced by particular fishing fleets and regions.
 
Björn Stockhousen further says: “The European Parliament has weakened the measures that have granted protection to the European seas for decades. These new diminished rules will undermine the health of marine ecosystems and the stability of fish stocks. This decision of a majority of European parliamentarians was undoubtedly hijacked by the vested interests of particular fishing fleets and regions.”
 
Seas At Risk also deems that the proposal impairs the targets to reduce the catch of juvenile fish in order to ensure they can reproduce and contribute to fish stocks before being caught. Without these targets, it will be up to regional groups of Member States to determine and implement regional recommendations if such reductions are to be achieved.
 
The final decision will be made in the European Council.
 
 
About Seas At Risk
Seas At Risk is an umbrella organization of environmental NGOs from across Europe that promotes ambitious policies for marine protection at European and international level. Read more about the organization here.