Dear Tony Kennick,
Thank you for writing to me concerning Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Fish Fight campaign to reform the EU fisheries policy.
Labour Members of the European Parliament have been consistently strong in campaigning for proper reform of both the EU's Common Fisheries and Common Agricultural policies.
We welcome the launch of Fish Fight campaign and the focus Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and others have given to the scandal of dead fish being thrown back into the sea. It is a terrible waste that up to half of all fish caught in the North Sea is discarded due to the perverse rules of the Common Fisheries Policy. In the upcoming reform of the CFP, Labour MEPs will be supporting calls for a policy of regionalisation which will eliminate inefficient central regulation and allow Member States to work together regionally to implement appropriate management measures.
We're delighted to see the campaign encouraging people to make informed decisions about the fish they buy. We are working with our European allies to ensure that fisherman can land a bigger catch while avoiding unnecessary discarding of fish, earn a decent living for their efforts, and be stewards of our fish stocks and marine environment for generations.
Linda McAvan MEP
Thank you for making contact on issue of fish quotas and reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.
It is Liberal Democrat policy to support strong reform of fisheries policy, indeed there is a broad consensus amongst UK MEPs from all parties of the need for reform. There is little doubt that the CFP and the practice of discarding fish beyond stated quotas is neither helpful for fish stocks, nor for fisherman. There are enormously detrimental effects for both the environment and fishing communities in the UK and elsewhere.
Also in agreement on the need for reform, is the European Commission. The Commission is currently preparing policy proposals for reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and they are eagerly awaited by Members of the European Parliament. In the meantime, my Liberal Democrat colleague Chris Davies MEP is forming a cross party group to discuss and formulate a common position on fisheries policy reform. Mr Davies is a substitute on the Fisheries committee in the European Parliament and is hoping to capitalise on the common will to reform fisheries policy. This group, known as 'Fish for the Future', meets on a monthly basis and is already over-subscribed. They are having regular consultation with the Commission, the WWF, major retailers and fish experts, and are hoping to take a science based approach to policy reform. They intend to establish a new common policy, beneficial to both fishermen and fish stocks, which they can take to negotiations with the Commission and the Council of Ministers.
I appreciate your concern regarding the issue of fisheries policy and we also appreciate that the Channel 4 programme drew attention to an issue which urgently needs addressing. In the UK, Richard Benyon the Fisheries Minister is also in favour of reform. I hope there will be sufficient political will in the Council of Ministers to press Mediterranean countries who are less willing to reform the system of quotas.
Diana Wallis MEP
Dear Mr Kennick
We in UKIP completely agree with you that the current fishing policy is an
environmental and economic disaster for the UK.
There is only one reason for this however and that is the European Union.
The EU controls the fishing policy for all member states and through their
"Common Fisheries Policy" (CFP) it has led to the destruction of the UK
fleet, a massive loss of jobs and traditions in coastal towns and not to
mention the deplorable rules regarding discards which means millions of
tonnes of fish a year have to be thrown back overboard dead.
We in UKIP completely agree with you that the whole policy is an utter
disgrace and would end the practise immediately if we were in government.
As often as we can, UKIP criticises the chaos that the CFP has caused for
Britain and if you would like to click on the following link, here is Nigel
Farage MEP (UKIP fisheries spokesman and party leader) making your voice
heard to the EU Commissioner in charge for fishing.
UKIP believes that the unaccountable EU has no right to legislate in this
area or any other aspect of our life, as it should only be government
elected by the people that should create and enact policy.
The only real way to change the CFP is to leave the EU so we can restore
proper fishing controls and UK territorial waters, and revitalise a vital