The Common Fisheries Policy
Around three-quarters of all European fish stocks are overexploited. This overfishing threatens to decimate stocks to the extent that they are unable to renew themselves naturally and thus tip into decline. Overfishing not only harms the maritime environment, it also makes fishing more expensive, frequently unprofitable and dependent upon subsidies to survive, and, again, more environmentally destructive.
This process ends up destroying the European fishing industry, with small fishers being the first to lose their livelihood.
It was the first time Parliament had been allowed to hold a legally binding vote on the basic principles of the Common Fisheries Policy.
What was the Greens' position?
The Greens believe that fish stocks urgently need to be given a break. Overfishing must be ended by 2015 and environmental protection should be made a prerequisite for attaining all other policy goals.
Ensuring a sustainable supply of healthy fish is a far wiser option than clearing the oceans now in search of short-term profits.
One element of such a sustainable fisheries policy must be the introduction of a ban on throwing dead bycatch overboard. The best solution is to adopt technical means to minimise bycatch, not to continue catching it and creating unnecessary ways of using it.
Consequently, we are demanding that long-term fishery management plans be drawn up and that the Member States be made to respect them.
The principle of sustainability must also guide EU fishing in non-EU waters, with adequate steps taken to ensure that no loopholes are left.
Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?
The Greens succeeded in rallying a majority of MEPs behind our demand for sustainable fishing.
Our amendment on avoiding bycatch and reducing discards was also carried by a majority in Parliament.
Future fishing rights may now be allocated according to best performance indicators, no longer exclusively based on historical fishing quotas.
We also successfully quashed the Commission's proposal to introduce tradable fishing rights.
Finally, many of the principles included in the Lövin report on the external dimension of the CFP were codified in this legislative act.
Which points did the Greens lose?
We were unable to impose our demands regarding sustainable aquaculture.
Aquaculture enjoys largely uncritical support in the EU and it is often forgotten that feeding farmed fish and dealing with waste water both impact on the marine environment.
Procedure:Ordinary legislative procedure
Lead MEP:Ulrike Rodust (S&D)
Green MEP responsible:Isabella LÃ¶vin
Staff contact:Michael Earle (Email)
Outcome of the vote
Below you find the results of the final vote in plenary. How did the political groups vote? What about national delegations? And what was the position of your MEP?