The South West’s thriving fishing industry could be “wiped out” if plans revealed in a leaked document turn out to be true, according to one of the region’s MEPs.
While the exact details of the Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki’s ‘radical’ reform of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy
are not due to be made public until 13th July
, a draft version obtained by BBC News reportedly includes proposals that have already been described as causing the "virtual privatisation of the oceans
Under the new scheme according to the BBC report
, boats would have to land all the fish they caught, and the whole catch would count against quotas – thus addressing the concerns over discards – but the European Commission is also reportedly planning to reform the EU's fishing industry by giving vessels quota shares. These shares would be guaranteed for periods of at least 15 years that could be bought and sold within the industry, and the final decision on fishing quotes will remain with politicians and not scientists.
Conservative South West MEP Julie Girling
is horrified by the idea, and says that if these plans came into force large foreign fleets could snap up the rights off our coast spelling disaster for fishermen and coastal communities in the South West.
“This really favours the large fishing operators and the large producers and in the South West are just not into that type of business
,” she said.
“We have been speaking to the Commission for months and years and we have been saying that the only way for sustainable European fishing is to return to member states day-to-day management, and I thought they were actually listening to that. This particular proposal simply wouldn’t do that – unless they have another.
Labels: Julie Girling