MEPs voice concerns
By Per Yann Le Floc’h | Thursday 12 July 2012
During an exchange of views with Cypriot Minister for Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment, Sofoclis Aletraris, on 11 July in Brussels, members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries (PECH) voiced a number of concerns. The minister had appeared before the committee to present the Cyprus EU Presidency’s priorities.
Antonello Antinoro (EPP, Italy) raised the problems of violations of Italy’s territorial waters and the sequestration of Italian vessels in the Mediterranean.
An ALDE member mentioned overcapacity problems and objected to more funds being allocated to the building of new vessels, which will result in higher capacities. She stressed the need for sanctions against countries that engage in non-sustainable fishing activities (see separate article), and proposed an increase for stocks where possible.
Diane Dodds (Non-attached, UK) pointed out the importance of regionalisation to make controls more effective and to streamline specific measures. It was also suggested that multiannual management plans could be used to help make up for increasingly tight bank credit.
Aletraris concluded by assuring MEPs that regionalisation was a key project for the Cyprus Presidency and that he planned to develop the regional authorities to help combat violations of territorial waters more effectively. He added that the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund had to help support the Common Fisheries Policy (in particular through multiannual management plans) and encourage sustainability and the dignity of fishing activity.