Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs has welcomed the agreement on a new, reformed fisheries policy for the EU reached between the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. The agreement sees the culmination of an extended process which begun with a lengthy consultation process that in turn led to an ambitious 2011 package of reform proposals by the European Commission. The agreement now reached comes following a series of talks between the Irish Presidency, led by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, and the European Parliament, with the Commission acting as facilitator. The last remaining issues to be solved related to the four key issues of the Maximum Sustainable Yield objective, the discard ban, regionalisation and fleet capacity management.

Commissioner Damanaki said: "This is a historical step for all those involved in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors. We are going to change radically the way we fish in the future.

· 1. We are paving the way for a sustainable future for our fishermen and our industry. We are going to do that by bringing fish stocks above sustainable levels. By aligning our fishing opportunities with scientific advice. By stopping discarding, catching fish and throwing it back dead into the sea and by stopping all other wasteful practices.

· 2. Also we are going to apply the same principles when we are fishing abroad. We will fully respect international law and our commitments.

· 3. We are going to stop having all the decision-making taking place in Brussels. Micromanagement will not be the way we operate anymore. We are going for regionalisation, to work together with the regional authorities & stakeholders to find specific and tailor-made solutions for each problem.

· 4. Lastly, we are going to change our market policy by providing better information for the consumers so our fishermen can get for the fish the price it deserves.

The CFP reform is a powerful driver for growth and jobs, at a time when Europe most needs it.

I am very grateful to both Mrs Rodust and Minister Coveney for their commitment and relentless efforts towards this deal. I also want to thank the Council of Ministers and European Parliament for their open and balanced approach throughout the negotiation process.

The next step, for me, is to take the same proactive attitude towards the implementation of the reforms, to make sure that they are a success for the industry, for our citizens and for Europe's economy".


The overarching aim of the reformed fisheries policy is to end overfishing and make fishing sustainable environmentally, economically and socially. The reform seeks to establish conditions for a better future for fish and fisheries, as well as the marine environment that supports them. The policy aims to bring fish stocks back to sustainable levels by taking an science-based approach to the setting of fishing opportunities. It further aims to support sustainable sectoral growth, create job opportunities in coastal areas and ultimately provide EU citizens with a healthy and sustainable supply of fish.

The reform contributes to the Europe 2020 Strategy and forms a crucial part of a push to ensure more coherent policies for the EU's seas and coastal areas by working towards robust economic performance of the industry and enhanced cohesion in coastal regions.

The Common Fisheries Policy was initially launched in 1970 by the six founding members of the European Community to provide a common market in fish. It has had several changes since with the last major reform in 2002.


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