Saturday, 1 June 2013

Again we ask, what reform?

EU Business reports:

EU officials and European lawmakers finally agreed a fisheries reform package on Thursday, winning a guarded welcome from green groups with a commitment to protect stocks and control the wasteful dumping of unwanted fish.

Irish Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Simon Coveney, who chaired all-night talks, said the accord "places sustainability firmly at its core."

Quotas will be set on the basis of Maximum Sustainable Yield levels to ensure that an underlying fish breeding stock is protected, Coveney said in a statement.

The current wasteful and damaging practice of dumping unwanted fish overboard will be banned, he said, but controversial exemptions will also be allowed.

Or, in other words, nothing very much is going to change though there are alterations to some of the rules that are still set centrally as part of the Common Fisheries Policy.

Various producers, notably Spanish ones, are complaining that banning discards is an unworkable policy and, indeed, it is as the "reformed" CFP acknowledges by including various exemptions.

Green groups, most of which receive EU funding in order to campaign for policies that involve further integration, are moderately happy and will remain the first to be consulted (as well as adequately funded out of tax money).

The Eurocrats are hailing a great break-through.

In the meantime, the ridiculous notion of a policy that can be centrally devised and planned for and by twenty-seven (soon to be twenty-eight) countries remains in place.


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