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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 24 April, 2019
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European Parliament reaches agreement on controversial fisheries reform

This follows tough negotiations by the Irish Presidency and strong protests here.

Image: Fishing via Shutterstock

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT has finally reached an agreement on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) after a long night of negotiations in Brussels.

An agreement had been also been reached on the CAP reform in March between European ministers but the process then moved to the final stage where the Irish Presidency was representing the Council in talks with the parliament and the commission.

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney held two days of informal talks on the CFP reform in Dublin Castle this week to try to push the negotiations forward.

Thousands of farmers protested outside, with the redistribution of payments being the biggest concern for them as it may hit the most productive farmers the hardest.

At about 3.30am this morning, the minister tweeted that the reform on the fisheries policy had been agreed:

MEP Pat the Cope Gallagher this morning welcomed the agreement and revealed that the changes in the reform include a strong request urging member states to try to provide additional quotas to vessels that fish in an environmentally sustainable manner such as small vessels.

However he said he was disappointed by the failure of the presidency to accept proposals to enshrine the Hague Preferences, which give Ireland a bigger share of fishing quotas in our waters when there are low levels. He said that he suggested a “strengthened recital” in the agreement which was accepted and this will ensure that ministers must take account of the preferences when allocating annual quotas.

He added that the policy will last for the next ten years and so it must be implemented in a way that protects and develops the industries in Ireland and the people working in them.

Read: Minister ‘energised and determined’ to get good deal for Irish farmers>
Read: Tractors, dogs and sandwiches: 5,000 farmers protest in Dublin>

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