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Agriculture and fisheries


MEPs and ministers struck a deal on a ban on fishing below a depth of 800 meters in the North-East Atlantic. The ban, agreed on Thursday afternoon, will apply to bottom trawling and would also restrict deep-sea fishing to the area where it took place between 2009 and 2011. (Read more: MEPs and ministers strike informal deal to ban deep sea fishing below 800 metres )


The EU multiannual plan for managing Baltic Sea cod, sprat and herring stocks was approved in plenary on Thursday. This is the first new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) regional plan that takes account of interactions between species. It aims to ensure the sustainability of fisheries and offer fishermen better economic conditions in the long run. Parliament and Council negotiators reached an informal agreement on it in March. (Read more: “Baltic plan”: first long-term fishing plan under new Common Fisheries Policy )

Agricultural Drones  Relatively cheap drones with advanced sensors and imaging capabilities are giving farmers new ways to increase yields and reduce crop damage. ©AP Images/ European Union-EP  

Demand for food is set to rise by 70% due to the global population growing to 9.6 billion by 2050. Feeding them all will be a serious challenge. In reports adopted during last week's plenary, MEPs stressed the need to invest in agricultural technology, while still reducing agriculture's ecological impact. They also looked into how farmers in Africa could be helped. (Read more: Feeding the world: MEPs survey development issues and technological options )

FB live chat and live Periscope video tweet with Anthea McIntyre  

Agriculture faces many challenges ranging from climate change to rising food demand due to population growth. On 7 June MEPs adopted an own-initiative report on how technological innovation could help to increase agricultural productivity in a sustainable way. Report author Anthea McIntyre, a UK member of the ECR group, answered questions about it during a live broadcast on the Parliament's Facebook page. (Read more: McIntyre: "We have to ensure all our farmers can benefit from innovation" )


Farmers: how Parliament wants to help them earn a better living

Others Agriculture15-06-2016 - 12:43

Making a living as a farmer is becoming increasingly difficult in Europe. As large retail chains are able to dictate the terms, farmers are often forced to sell their products for less than they cost to produce. On 7 June MEPs adopted a resolution, calling for an end to these unfair trading practices. They now want the European Commission to come up with proposals to improve farmers' bargaining position. Watch our video to find out more about how the market operates. (Read more: Farmers: how Parliament wants to help them earn a better living )


Parliament calls for EU action to help farmers fight unfair trading practices

Plenary Session Agriculture / Industry07-06-2016 - 13:14
PR supermarket trading practices ©AP Images/ European Union-EP  

MEPs urge the EU Commission to put forward proposals against unfair trading practices in the food supply chain, so as to ensure fair earnings for farmers and a wide choice for consumers, in a resolution voted on Tuesday. The aim should be to ensure fair and transparent trade relations among food producers, suppliers and distributors. Fair trading should in turn help to prevent overproduction and food waste, they add. (Read more: Parliament calls for EU action to help farmers fight unfair trading practices )


Milk price crisis: MEPs demand further action to rescue dairy farmers

Plenary Session Agriculture26-05-2016 - 11:47
©AP Images/ European Union-EP  

The EU must quickly take further measures to stabilize milk prices and bring relief to struggling dairy farmers, urged MEPs in Thursday's plenary debate with Commissioner Phil Hogan and Dutch deputy farm minister Hans Hoogeveen. These measures should include an EU-wide lid on milk production to boost prices, a more efficient intervention system, to enable the EU to react more swiftly, and balancing the supply chain to enable farmers to earn fair returns, they said. (Read more: Milk price crisis: MEPs demand further action to rescue dairy farmers )


Mislabelled fish: MEPs call for strong traceability system

Plenary Session Fisheries12-05-2016 - 12:33
Fish traceability  

A strong traceability system for all fishery products sold in EU restaurants and shops would help to prevent cases of mislabelling, said MEPs in a resolution approved on Thursday. A sound EU fish labelling policy would in turn boost consumer confidence and the economic development of the EU fishing industry, they added. (Read more: Mislabelled fish: MEPs call for strong traceability system )


New four-year EU-Mauritania fisheries deal

Plenary Session Fisheries10-05-2016 - 12:26

EU vessels will be allowed to fish for shrimp, demersal fish, tuna and small pelagic fish in Mauritania’s Exclusive Economic Zone under a new four-year fisheries deal approved by Parliament on Tuesday. In return, the EU will pay Mauritania €59.125 million per year- €55 million for the total allowable catches and €4.125 million to support the development of Mauritania’s sector-specific fisheries policy. (Read more: New four-year EU-Mauritania fisheries deal )


New rules to curb the growing influx into the EU of plant pests such as Xylella fastidiosa, which has been devastating Italian olive groves in 2013, were endorsed by the Agriculture Committee on Tuesday. Factors driving this influx include increased trade and climate change. The draft rules, informally approved by Parliament and Council negotiators in December 2015, would govern preventive measures for imported plant pests and rapid response mechanisms for high-risk ones. (Read more: Plant health: agriculture MEPs endorse deal to fight influx of pests to the EU )