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27-06-2012

MEP negotiates agreement to impose sanctions against countries engaged in unsustainable fishing

MEP Gallagher negotiates a far reaching agreement to impose sanctions against countries engaged in unsustainable fishing. The measures are being adopted in response to the massive overfishing of mackerel by Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

Reverse link define here :reverse_link_6bis-MEPsPat the Cope Gallagher MEP, the rapporteur for the report has today confirmed that the European Parliament has concluded negotiations with the Danish Presidency and that a comprehensive agreement is now in place to introduce sanctions against countries engaged in unsustainable fishing practices.

Reverse link define here :reverse_link_6bis-MEPsPat the Cope Gallagher MEP stated today that "I am pleased that the talks between the European Parliament and the Danish Presidency have ended with agreement. I strongly believe that the agreed text will deliver both workable and effective trade sanctions, which will act as a real deterrent to countries who engage in unsustainable fishing practices now and in the future."

"The mackerel dispute in the North East Atlantic is the moving force behind these new measures. However, I am still hopeful that the measures may never be used against Iceland and the Faroe Islands and I once again call on all four Coastal States to immediately resume talks with a view to resolving this long running dispute."

He paid tribute to all involved in the "trialogue" negotiations, which included representatives of the European Commission, the Council of Ministers and Members of the Fisheries Committee in the European Parliament (Shadow Rapporteurs). Mr. Gallagher thanked them for their close cooperation in concluding the agreement.

Mr. Gallagher further stated "The agreement also highlights that 'co-decision' between the European Parliament and the Council on fisheries policy does work, which is a positive sign ahead of the negotiations later this year on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy."

The agreement includes the following trade measures, which can be imposed on a country or territory fishing in an unsustainable manner:

1.      Quantitative restrictions on the importations of fish into the EU including the stock of common interest and associated species;

2.      The definition of associated species is broadly defined to cover a range of species other than mackerel for example and is based on FAO rules;

3.      Further measures can be applied under the scope of the Regulation, if the initial measures prove to be ineffective;

4.      Restrictions on the use of EU ports by vessels flying the flag of the country or territory deemed to be overfishing;

5.      Restrictions on the use of EU ports by vessels transporting fish and fishery products from the stock of common interest and associated species;

6.      Ban on the sale of fishing vessels, fishing equipment and supplies to the country or territory deemed to be overfishing;

7.      Ban on reflagging of fishing vessels from an EU Member State to a country or territory deemed to be overfishing.

Next Steps

·         COREPER I (EU Ambassadors) ratified the agreement today, Wednesday 27 June.

·         The Committee on Fisheries in the European Parliament is scheduled to adopt the agreed text on 10/11 July and then the plenary of the European Parliament, during the week of September 10th will formally ratify the Regulation.