On Thursday MEPs endorsed legal measures to protect Baltic salmon stocks, but postponed a vote on technical conservation measures until the Council unblocks long-term fisheries management plans. In a separate vote, Parliament also called for the eradication of illegal, unregulated and unreported fisheries worldwide.

To halt overexploitation of Baltic river salmon, MEPs amended a draft EU regulation to include higher reproduction targets designed to increase the Baltic salmon stock.. To safeguard its genetic integrity and diversity, they also tightened up rules for releasing reared young salmon into the rivers.

"The multiannual plan for protecting the Baltic Salmon is an extremely important element of managing the fishing resources and marine resources in the context of the common fisheries policy", said rapporteur Marek Józef Gróbarczyk (ECR, PL). The resolution was adopted with 599 votes in favour, 23 against and 14 abstentions.

Parliament also widened the regulation's scope to include all forms of recreational fishing, because of its substantial impact on Baltic salmon stocks. The regulation will therefore require full controls and mandatory reporting on all types of recreational fishing.

Unblock fisheries management plans, say MEPs

To ensure sustainable management of fisheries and thus provide long-term stability for fishermen, the Council must unblock all the fisheries management plans that have already been approved by the European Parliament..

These management plans include those to manage horse mackerel in the western Atlantic and the anchovy in the Bay of Biscay. The plan to protect Baltic salmon stock could suffer the same fate if the Council does not change its position.

To put additional pressure on Council to act responsibly, MEPs postponed a vote on the temporary prolongation of technical conservation measures drafted by Pat the Cope Gallagher, ALDE, IE).

Promoting responsible fishing worldwide

MEPs also called for the eradication of illegal, unregulated and unreported fisheries worldwide, in a resolution by Isabella Lövin (Greens/EFA, SE), on the Common Fisheries Policy's external dimension (474 votes in favour; 45 against and 13 abstentions).

EU fisheries partnership agreements with non-EU countries should be tightened up to prevent abusive reflagging and should include a human rights clause, they added.

Finally, MEPs also approved a new protocol to the EU/Greenland fisheries agreement.

Procedure:  Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), 1st reading (Gróbarczyk) and with 1st reading agreement (Gallagher); Consent (Christensen); Non-legislative resolution (Lövin, Ferreira)