EU Fisheries Council to discuss the future of our fisheries

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EU Fisheries Council to discuss the future of our fisheriesThe EU Fisheries Council meet today and tomorrow in Brussels to negotiate the reformed Common Fisheries Policy, now in the final stages, determining the future of our fishing industry. .

On 6th February this year the EU voted for a reformation of the Common Fisheries Policy, the aim was to end overfishing and make fishing economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. Since February the European Parliament and Fisheries Ministers have separately discussed their stance on each policy point. Today and tomorrow the main issues being debated include the Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) objective, the discard ban, regionalisation and fleet capacity management.

The future of Malta’s small-scale and large-scale fishers is unknown. Roderick Galdes, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights, previously expressed concerns that achieving MSY depends on reliable data and scientific advice for targeted conservation measures.

He explained that Malta shares fish stocks with non-EU countries, and joint action with these countries is essential for accurate data collection for the attainment of MSY. His concern was the current proposals did not satisfactorily account for this and may lead to a failed Common Fisheries Policy.

The sustainable fishing campaign, fish4tomorrow, hopes the new fishing policies will attain justice for the small-scale fishers in Malta and provide a foundation to ascertain a local sustainable fishing industry.

fish4tomorrow is a campaign promoting sustainable seafood consumption, and is steered by five environmental NGOs: Nature Trust (Malta), Din l-Art Helwa, Sharklab, Greenhouse and GetUpStandUp.

It urges the public to support local small-scale fishers, who risk their lives to bring delicious fresh fish for the market and to try and eat fish which are caught using more environmentally-friendly methods.

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