Ireland North West MEP Pat the Cope Gallagher today reacted to key developments on the Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.


Mr. Gallagher stated that “the manner in which Ministers spun the outcome of this week’s Council meeting in Luxembourg has caused confusion within the sector.”


“The reality is that the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy is far from complete and that negotiations between the European Parliament and the Fisheries Ministers will continue for at least one year.”


“The bottom line is that spin and publicity will not solve the problems facing the fisheries sector in Ireland. The Ministers in Luxembourg adopted what is known as a general approach, which is one step in a long process of negotiations between the Parliament and Council.”


Speaking in the European Parliament in Strasbourg yesterday (14 June) on a key debate on long term management plans, Mr. Gallagher also stated “The manner in which some Ministers completely ignored the role of the European Parliament as a co-legislator does not bode well for the negotiations, which lie ahead on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.”


In relation to the issue of discards, Mr. Gallagher criticised the flawed approach adopted by the Ministers in Luxembourg. Mr. Gallagher stated “The minimisation of discards is in everyone’s interest.  The position adopted by the Council on discards is flawed. Avoidance, minimisation and escapement in the first instance is key as landing dead fish does not contribute to sustainable fisheries management. We must endeavour to avoid the fish in order to allow them to survive, grow and to provide the fish for the future.”