Saturday, April 28, 2012
EU states close to agreeing on greater local say in managing fisheries
Fiona Harvey in the Guardian (UK): Proposals to give European Union member states a greater say over how their fisheries are managed moved a step closer to acceptance on Friday, as part of a wider package of reforms that represent the biggest shakeup of the fishing industry in decades.
The meeting of the EU Fisheries Council in Luxemburg concluded without major upset, giving ministers the chance to concentrate in future meetings on the more controversial components of the package, such as the proposal to ban the wasteful practice of discarding edible fish at sea.
Giving member states greater powers over how to manage their fisheries is broadly popular with national governments. It could help to defuse tension over how the total catch in the EU's fisheries should be divided into quotas for each country.
Richard Benyon, the UK fisheries minister, said the meeting had made "progress, but there's still a long way to go" on the full package of measures.
He said: "We are in favour of greater localisation because it will lead to better management of fisheries – the situation in the western Mediterranean, for instance, is very different to that in the North Sea, and the centralisation of powers in the hands of the European Commission does not always reflect that."...