25th February 2010
MEPs today voted to start the process of overhauling the European Fishing Industry and how to reform the Common Fisheries Policy. The former European Commissioner for Fisheries, Joe Borg, admitted that the current policy has not succeeded in its objectives.
Current legislation forces fishermen in Cornwall, Devon and across the South West to discard any fish caught that is over their quota for that particular species, which needlessly damages local fish stocks and negatively affects the income of those who rely on fishing for a living.
"I am glad that this first step has been taken. Our Fishing Policy needs to reflect the fact that conditions in individual seas vary greatly and local fishermen should not be constrained by a ‘one size fits all’ policy. We need to allow fishing quotas to be set at the regional level, drafted by both National Governments, scientists and local fishermen.” Comments Ashley Fox MEP.
“The current policy protects neither fishermen nor fish. It is morally wrong for fishermen to catch perfectly healthy fish and then be forced to throw them away because they have reached a quota set by commissioners in Brussels who may have little experience of fishing or the local area.”