Full text 
Procedure : 2004/2199(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A6-0019/2006

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 14/03/2006 - 22
CRE 14/03/2006 - 22

Votes :

PV 15/03/2006 - 4.11
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


Texts adopted
PDF 114kWORD 37k
Wednesday, 15 March 2006 - Strasbourg
More environmentally friendly fishing methods

European Parliament resolution on more environmentally friendly fishing methods (2004/2199(INI))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy,

–   having regard to the communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on promoting more environmentally friendly fishing methods: the role of technical conservation measures (COM(2004)0438),

–   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Fisheries (A6-0019/2006),

A.   whereas it is important to promote fishing methods that respect the environment,

B.   whereas the sustainability of fishing resources is essential for guaranteeing fishing activity and the viability of the fisheries sector in the long term,

C.   whereas fishermen and their representative associations should be involved in determining measures to protect the marine environment and rebuild depleted stocks,

D.   whereas appropriate socio-economic measures should be introduced to provide fishermen with compensation for the costs of reductions in work connected with the plans to rebuild depleted stocks,

1.  Welcomes the Commission's communication on the promotion of more environmentally friendly fishing methods;

2.  Reminds the Commission that it should take a more wide-ranging view of measures to protect the marine environment and rebuild depleted stocks, in particular by considering and studying other factors which have a considerable impact on the marine environment and the state of resources, such as coastal and offshore pollution, industrial and agricultural effluents, deep-sea dredging and maritime transport, so as to complement current management methods;

3.  Emphasises that all technical measures to protect the marine environment and rebuild depleted fish stocks should be based on scientific fishing research;

4.  Believes this to be an important step in achieving ecologically sustainable management of fisheries in order to reduce the impact of fishing on the marine environment, while recognising that a certain level of impact by fishing is unavoidable within reasonable limits; recalls also that pollution as well as overfishing and non-sustainable fishing methods have a great impact on fisheries, as illustrated, for example, by the fact that it has been scientifically demonstrated that some pollutants cause serious damage at various stages of the trophic chain, with grave consequences for commercial species which would need to be protected;

5.  Believes that, while ecological considerations are of major concern, future fisheries management policies must not be used to further penalise economically and socially vital fishing operations;

6.  Points out that it is essential to achieve a balance between socio-economic exigencies and environmental sustainability, while underlining the need to activate a mechanism for subsidising or compensating fishermen who are affected by the negative effects of environmentally friendly fishing, particularly those active in less developed areas;

7.  Calls for the adoption of technical methods to improve selectivity and, therefore, the possibility of catching fish at the right size, in order to maintain high productivity;

8.  Points out that only by ensuring that fish spawn and develop for a minimum specific period can the satisfactory reproduction of fish be made possible;

9.  Emphasises the need to limit any significantly negative impact of fishing on marine biodiversity through the establishment of marine reserves, real-time area closures and other appropriate and balanced management measures, to be implemented stringently at least until the marine habitats have returned to safe biological levels;

10.  Expresses particular concern over the issue of ghost fishing and urges the Commission to take all appropriate short and long-term action to combat the issue, including close monitoring of the effectiveness of any provisions that are adopted at EU level;

11.  Highlights the need to reduce discards, which produce detrimental biological effects as well as having negative economic impacts, through the adoption of appropriate technical measures, based on reliable scientific research, such as closed seasons, prohibited zones and mesh size regulations, taking account of the particular features of each marine area in which the technical conservation measures are implemented;

12.  Invites the Commission to bring forward, without further delay, proposals for pilot projects aimed at reducing discards;

13.  Suggests in particular that the option of discard bans accompanied by appropriate incentives for fishermen be considered;

14.  Urges the Commission to promote actively the adoption of an FAO International Plan of Action on bycatch reduction;

15.  Calls on the Commission to place emphasis on the development of environmentally friendly fishing as part of the overall package of management measures;

16.  Calls on the Commission to avoid conflicting objectives and superfluous regulations and to avail itself of this opportunity to simplify the overall regulatory system;

17.  Calls on the Commission to consider the application of environmentally friendly fishing technical measures as a complement to existing effort limitations in relation to stock recovery plans;

18.  Believes that, in this context, it is absolutely essential to develop and implement the satellite technology needed to detect the presence of unauthorised fishing vessels in closed areas and in Marine Protected Areas, in order to guarantee effective protection of fish, their critical habitat and other biodiversity;

19.  Points out the need to support the actions undertaken in the framework of the reformed CFP in order to further the goals of the Commission's communication, particularly:

   a) the adoption of a decentralised approach which takes account of the specificity of particular fish species;
   b) the development, in tandem with Regional Advisory Councils (RACs), of a decision-making process for the application of technical measures in which specific requirements and locally appropriate measures can be developed, implemented and monitored;
   c) the increase of technical and financial support through public aid to the RACs to enable them to contribute appropriately to the achievement of this aim;
   d) the development of scientific and technical research shared at Community level;
   e) the integration of environmentally friendly fishing rules in long-term management;

20.  Underlines the importance of the Commission's communication, which should play a greater role in sea governance in order to build a positive long-term future both for those whose livelihoods depend on fishing and for the marine environment;

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

Legal notice - Privacy policy