MEMBER STATES FINALLY AGREE ON FISHERIES DEAL BUT FAIL TO BRIDGE GAP WITH AMBITIOUS PARLIAMENT

Brussels, Belgium - After pulling yet another all-nighter, Fisheries Ministers finalised their negotiating mandate with regards to the current EU fisheries reform. Despite the agreement between Members States being a positive step forward, unfortunately the Ministers - who generally don’t like to compromise - remained predictable with little effort being made to meet the European Parliament half way on their ambitious proposal to save fisheries in Europe.

“The devil is in the detail as they say, but in this case it’s the lack of detail, as Fisheries Ministers decided on a legally neutral text with few binding timelines and concrete measures. If implemented it would enable them to continue badly managing our oceans and ruining our fish stocks for yet another decade. On the opposite side of the coin, the European Parliament demands an ambitious reform that would deliver new fishing laws aimed at restoring fish stocks, through transparency, fixed timelines, accountability and enforceability”, says Roberto Ferrigno, WWF’s Common Fisheries Policy reform coordinator.

“This new law that is currently in the making will be used for the next 10 years to protect our oceans and fish stocks. A new WWF analysis¹ shows that recovery of fish stocks could take more than 100 years under current proposals by EU Fisheries Ministers, whereas with the Parliament’s offer, it could only take 10 years for 75% of the stocks to recover – the latter is by far the better deal and it’s what we urgently need”, concludes Ferrigno.

The Council has dealt its cards and it is now up to the European Parliament, led by MEP Ulrike Rodust, to decide whether they accept the so-called ‘compromise’ that the Council is offering - or whether they reject it and stand their ground by sticking to their ambitious position for reform. It remains to be seen if they will use their new co-decision powers to say “no deal now is better than a bad deal for the next 10 years”, or not.

1. WWF analysis of EU proposals for fish stock recovery: http://www.wwf.eu/?208558/Ending-overfishing-may-take-more-than-100-years-says-WWF-analysis-of-EU-proposals-for-fish-stock-recovery

For further information or interview requests:

ALEXANDRA BENNETT, Communications Director, WWF European Policy Office
abennett@wwf.eu +32 477 393 400

About WWF
WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

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