Procedure : 2011/2899(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0065/2012

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 14/02/2012 - 3
CRE 14/02/2012 - 3

Votes :

PV 16/02/2012 - 8.4
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0579/2011

further to Questions for Oral Answer B7‑0038/2012 and B7‑0029/2012

pursuant to Rule 115(5) of the Rules of Procedure

on the contribution of the common fisheries policy to coastal communities (2011/2899(RSP))

Isabella Lövin, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Jean-Paul Besset on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

European Parliament resolution on the contribution of the common fisheries policy to coastal communities (2011/2899(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 2371/2002 of 20 December 2002 on the conservation and sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources under the common fisheries policy(1),

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission entitled ‘Rio+20: towards the green economy and better governance’ (COM(2011)363),

–   having regard to the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC),

–   having regard to the various legislative proposals and communications of the CFP reform package submitted by the Commission on 13 July 2011,

–   having regard to Rules 115(5) and 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas it is widely recognised that European fisheries are an integral part of the economic and social life of coastal communities;

B.  whereas, according to the Commission, the fishing sector (catching, processing. aquaculture and ancillary activities) employs less than 0.2% of the EU labour force, and there are significant differences between Member States from 0.04% in Belgium to 1.53% in Greece, in Brittany it is 0.8% of total employment, in Galicia 3%, and in some coastal communities more than that;

C. whereas a dynamic, economically independent, well managed fishery sector could make increasing contributions to European society and the economy and thus play a significant role in the Europe 2020 Strategy;

D. whereas rebuilding of European fish stocks would not only create jobs, it would also make Europe less dependent on imports on fish, which would contribute to food security in the developing part of the world;

E.  whereas the fishing sector is an activity completely dependent on functioning ecosystems thus requiring abundant fish stocks and marine ecosystems in good environmental status in order for the long term sustainability and existence of the extraction, processing and marketing of fisheries products;

F.  whereas the fishing industry is currently facing severe challenges including, according to the specific fishery, a lack of profitability, declining opportunities, crumbling employment and an alarming situation with respect to fish stock abundance;

G. whereas only some of these challenges are due to factors outside the control of fishing industry or the responsibility of fisheries management, such as climate change, pollution, market forces, etc., other problems result from the general failure of fisheries management to adequately constrain such things as fleet size, fishing opportunities, etc., and others from the behaviour of the industry itself;

H. whereas the traditional reaction of the EU to these difficulties is by the use of public aid, which has clearly failed to resolve them and has, in fact, frequently exacerbated the situation;

1.  Firmly believes that fisheries, properly managed, could make an increased contribution to European society, in terms of food security, employment, the maintenance of dynamic fishing communities, and many other ways;

2.  Stresses that the current reform of the common fisheries policy (CFP) must have as its primary objective to restore sustainability to the European fishing industry as well as its related activities such as processing, marketing and aquaculture;

3.  Stresses that the Commission’s impact assessment of the proposed new Basic Regulation concludes that environmental, social and economic sustainability will all significantly improve in all described scenarios except for the status quo scenario, highlighting the need for reform;

4.  Considers that environmental, economic and social sustainability are important objectives of the CFP but that the return to economic and social viability depends on an improvement in the status of fish stocks, so that environmental sustainability is clearly a prerequisite to economic and social sustainability;

5.  Believes that the reform must accomplish an ambitious agenda, including:

· the adoption of clear, prioritised, measurable and achievable objectives with a strict timetable for their achievement,

· the recovery of fish stocks to levels above those capable of producing maximum sustainable yields,

· a significant improvement in the selectivity of fishing gears and practices so as to put an end to the waste resulting from the discarding of vast quantities of fish and other species,

· the preferential allocation of the right to fish to those who do so in the most environmentally and socially sustainable way in order to reduce the destructive impact of certain segments and operators,

· an achievement of an appropriate balance between the size and composition of the EU fishing fleets and the resources that are available to be fished on a sustainable basis,

· decentralisation of decision-making to the most appropriate level, which could be either regional, national or local, depending on the particular fishery,

· the establishment of the above for fishing inside the EU and for fishing by EU vessels in other waters,

· the adoption of a policy for aquaculture that ensures that this industry is environmentally sustainable and does not lead to pollution or depletion of other species caught as feed,

· the incorporation of recreational fishing in the CFP;

6.  Considers that if this agenda is accomplished, EU fisheries would be, finally, put on a sustainable basis;

7.  Believes that only then would the fishing industry be able to fulfil its potential of contributing to food security, creating sustainable employment, nurturing the maintenance and growth of coastal communities and their inhabitants, encouraging innovation in the fishing fleets and downstream industries, improving the management of fisheries in developing countries, contributing to scientific knowledge and understanding of the marine environment, reducing its energy consumption and output of greenhouse gasses and preserving the marine environment;

8.  Believes that this is the best way that fisheries can contribute to the achievement of Europe 2020;

9.  Looks forward to the Commission’s imminent publication of its proposal for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, and believes that its objectives and the measures that are eligible for funding should contribute to these points;

10. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and Commission.


OJ L 358, 31.12.2002, p. 59.

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