Alfred Sant abstains on Report for recreational fisheries in the EU
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MEP Alfred Sant has abstained on the Report ‘State of play of recreational fisheries in the EU,’ which asks the Commission to analyse the sector of recreational fisheries in order to regularise it.
In a statement, the Maltese MEP said he was abstaining on this vote because “there is no single agreed clear definition of recreational fishing at EU level. This is remarked in various references found throughout the same Report.”
“Due attention and flexibility in the context of the diverse characteristics of fishing communities in Europe are to be provided. This must act as an indispensable principle for any possible regularisation of the sector,” added the MEP.
He continued by saying that “it is risky to discuss and give recommendations on the topic without having a clearly defined subject. Current calculations point towards an estimation of between 8.7 and 9 million recreational fishermen in the EU, representing 1.6% of the European population. I recognise the need to protect endangered species, and to control harmful fishing practices.”
“Nevertheless, if it is decided that EU-level control on recreational fishing is necessary, it will be of the utmost importance that a regulatory approach would give due consideration to the socioeconomic features of the recreational fisheries sector,” remarked Dr Sant.
The Report passed with 601 votes in favour, 43 against and 27 abstentions.