New report reveals /// Despite coming under repeated complaint, the EU defended the Common Fisheries Policy


During a consultation exercise launched by the Commission on fishing opportunities for 2019, many groups supported a damning attack on the EU’s handling of overfishing. 

Our Fish programme director Rebecca Hubbard told The Parliament Magazine which Brussels was “playing down” the ravaging of fish stocks. 

He explained:”Let me remind you that the majority of the British processed fisheries products are traded, are exported, are sent to us, to the European industry. 

She said:”Our Fish is suprised and disappointed to discover that the Commission is playing the continued overfishing in EU waters, while also diluting ambition to reconstruct all fish stocks by 2020, as required by EU fisheries law. 

Fishing boat

He said:”We’re questioning even the essentials of the present policy. We’re not only searching for a different reform – it is time to look for a modern, easy and sustainable method for managing fisheries in the EU.” 

She explained:”While some progress has been made, the communication from the Commission reads a lot as an apology for expected failure. This is not acceptable. 

“So fisheries is part of a bundle as regards our trade relations, which are to be discussed, which package is one which you can’t break up. There’ll not be any ambiguity at all around that.” 

“The battle of stopping overfishing and implementing the landing responsibility by 2020 is only made greater by failure of member states and the Commission to adopt early and ambitious execution ” 

Brussels’ Fisheries Commissioner at the time – Joe Borg – even admitted that the Common Fisheries Policy needed a complete rethink. 

Brussels’ Chief Negotiator – Michel Barnier – has warned Britain that without access to British fishing grounds, the EU will deny that the UK access to European economies. 

“We urge the Commission to uphold its crucial role in ensuring the CFP is completely implemented, and overfishing is ended, restoring the health of the sea” 

This was not the first time that the EU came under fire because of its Common Fisheries Policy – a key reason the UK voted for Brexit. 

In 2009, the European Commission made a surprising admission in a position paper which summarized severe issues with the Common Fisheries arrangement. 

Despite coming under repeated complaint, the EU has defended the Common Fisheries Policy through Brexit trade talks with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, even demanding the UK maintain giving the 27 member states access to its waters. 

“It’s vital that the ambition of the reformed CFP is not lost as a result of the short-term challenges, or complacency, of execution. “

Our Fish urges the Commission to urge, unequivocally, for the full and timely implementation of the CFP by member state authorities. It claimed that it was”questioning even the principles” of this policy.


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