Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Liberals Support A Better Future For The Fishing Industry

Andrew Duff MEP looking at sites of coastal erosion with
Suffolk Coastal candidate Daisy Cooper

A significant step was taken by the European Parliament today to reform the Common Fisheries Policy. These reforms will set legally binding measures to end discards and overfishing and rebuild Europe's fish stocks. This move was welcomed by Liberal MEPs as the fishing industry faces not only an ecological disaster but also an economic and social one.

Andrew Duff, Lib Dem MEP for the East of England, said "I am pleased with the decisions taken today. The fishing, processing and aquaculture sectors create and maintain jobs in rural and coastal communities along the coast of the East of England from Kings Lynn to Southend, where there is often no source of alternative employment. In the last 10 years many jobs have been lost from the sector in the East of England We have a collective duty to these communities to ensure a long term future based on clear environmental, economic and social principles."

He also welcomed the decision to move the day to day management of multi-annual plans to regional authorities, "A move to regional management structures would create many positive benefits including increased responsibility on local communities and the establishment of a Common Fisheries Policy more sensitive to local concerns in places like Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and Burnham-on-Crouch."

Mr Duff also welcomed the ban on discards and supports the measures introduced to rebuild the fish stocks. "Two thirds of European fish stocks are overfished today. This reform will end the unacceptable practice of throwing millions of tonnes of perfectly good fish back into the sea and will allow our fish stocks to recover based on advice from both scientists and fishermen. The historic vote today will help to make fishing more profitable again, provide a livelihood for fishermen and most importantly - ensure that there will be more fish in our seas."