There are more than 30 different European Union regulations laying down technical measures for fisheries and this has proved inefficient. This is why the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee approved draft laws on November 21.

The aim is to limit unwanted catches, especially of juvenile fish.

MEPs also voted for regional measures deviating from the baselines. These would be introduced for the seven EU sea basins:  North Sea, North Western Waters, South Western Waters, Baltic Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and waters fished by EU boats in the Indian Ocean and West Atlantic.

“Regionalisation would allow moving away from micro-management and rigid technical rules towards a more flexible, results-based management approach and would bring local authorities other stakeholders closer to the decision making,” said Gabriel Mato (EPP, ES).

According to Mato, the main objective is to give the chance to fishermen and to regional authorities to feel as the main actors in the management of resources, while ensuring that specific targets for progressive reduction of juvenile catches are set, based on science and adapted to the realities of each fishery.

“I believe this is a good compromise, ambitious but at the same time realistic and operational,” he said.

The draft text was adopted by 20 votes to 5, with 2 abstentions. It will now be tabled to a plenary vote in order to get the mandate and start negotiations with the Council.