Fish Fight – Fish Subsidy Vote looming . . .

Having agreed major reforms to the EU Common Fisheries Policy, MEPs vote next week on the budget to support it – the European Maritime & Fisheries Fund (EMFF), which provides for about €6 billion for the period up to 2020. Writes Chris Davies the Liberal Democrat Environment spokesman in his latest Fish Fight email.

The person leading on the issue is Alain Cadec, a French MEP from the right-of-centre European Peoples’ Party.

He is proposing that hundreds of millions of euros be spent on ‘fleet renewal’, building new ships, although we still have too many boats chasing too few fish. Spending public money in this way to support unsustainable fishing was stopped in 2002 because it made worse the problem of overfishing; 90% went to Spain, France and Portugal.

Urge your MEP not to support the reintroduction of fleet renewal, a subsidy abolished ten years ago for the damage it caused, write to your MEPs and ask them to vote NO to Article 32b.

Mr Cadec also wants money to go towards engine replacement. But modern engines can do the job more effectively than old ones and so increase the catching capacity of the fishing fleet without creating any new jobs.

More efficient engines allow boats to go further, for longer. Your MEPs should vote NO to Article 39(1)(a).

The cross-party ‘Fish for the Future’ group in the Parliament promotes a sustainable fisheries policy. We want more fish in the sea to give fishermen a successful future – not subsidies for a few. That is why we are opposing both these proposals.

In addition we need to put more money aside for data collection. We simply don’t know enough about the state of fish stocks – except that in the Mediterranean in particular they are in a very bad way.

Encourage your MEPs to vote YES to amendments increasing the funding available for data collection on Article 15(4).

Votes take place in Strasbourg next Wednesday. I hope we can make these changes and so strengthen the delivery of a sustainable fisheries policy rather than see it undermined.

The quickest way for you to get in touch with your MEPs is to visit the website writetothem.com and put your postcode in to write a letter to the people that represent you in the EU regardless of party.

You could also ‘Tweet’ this page, share it on Facebook, forward this weblink to a friend and ask them to get involved in the Fish Fight . . . or all three!

More information at CFP Reform Watch: Pressure mounting on MEP’s one week ahead of fish subsify vote.