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Tuesday, 5 April 2011 - Strasbourg OJ edition

EC-Comoros fisheries agreement - Community financial measures for the implementation of the common fisheries policy and in the area of the Law of the Sea - Fisheries - transitional technical measures - Imports from Greenland of fishery products (debate)

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE).(PT) Mr President, Commissioner, while I congratulate all four rapporteurs, I would like to focus on just two of the reports being debated. In 2008, the absence of any agreement on a draft regulation intended to simplify and clarify the EU regulation on conservation of fish resources led to the adoption of the current regulation, which established a set of transitional measures, initially provided for the period between 1 January 2010 and 30 June 2011. The current legislative proposal extends this transitional arrangement for an additional period of 18 months – in other words, until 1 January 2013 – pending a new regulation on technical measures framing the reformed common fisheries policy (CFP).

It is important to maintain a regulatory framework for fisheries during this transition period, safeguarding the interests of fishermen without losing sight of the basic objective of promoting sustainable fisheries. The current intention not to extend the use of trammel nets, and to ban them at a depth of between 200 and 600 metres from 1 October 2010, does not constitute a good example of what has been described. The current ban on this fishing technique, which has been used for decades by a section of the Portuguese small-scale fleet for the sustained exploitation of species such as monkfish and hake, was a severe economic and social blow to the sector and to the fishing communities most dependent on the exploitation of these resources.

I therefore call for your support in adopting a proposal that I and my colleagues Mr Capoulas Santos and Mr Ferreira have tabled in the Chamber, which seeks to do no more than ensure that what was law until 1 October 2010 remains so until 2013.

I would also like to mention the draft regulation setting out Community financial measures relating to the implementation of the CFP and the law of the sea: the Ferreira report. Together with the European Fisheries Fund, this is the most important financial instrument for supporting fisheries, providing for financing in the areas of international relations, governance, the collection of scientific data and opinions, and the monitoring of the implementation of the CFP.

In this context, I would like to express my complete support for the proposals tabled in this Chamber by the rapporteur to increase the possibility of EU co-financing to 60% in the area of the collection, management and use of basic data, as well as with regard to the collection, management and use of supplementary data. The widespread and growing recognition of the importance of fisheries management supported by up-to-date and thorough scientific knowledge of the status of stocks fully justifies adoption of the rapporteur’s proposals, as well as of his report as a whole.

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