Fabian Demicoli

EU funds to be invested in a more sustainable fishing sector

 The future of seafood supply was at the centre of today's debate organised by The Alliance for Common Fisheries Policy Reform and EU Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Maria Damanaki at the European Seafood Exposition, the world's largest seafood trade event.

Representatives of the seafood industry learnt that public money could help to secure the long-term supply of sustainable seafood if the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) brings about the necessary changes.

Referring to the current debate about the new EU Fisheries Fund 2014-2020, Commissioner Damanaki said: "The future funding of the Common Fisheries Policy will be deployed to give a real boost towards environmental, social and economic sustainability for our coastal areas. Its measures will give the fisheries reform a real footing towards a healthy, profitable and strong sector that takes an interest in environmentally stable fish stocks and increased consumer demand for sustainable fish".

The Alliance For Common Fisheries Policy Reform urged European decision-makers to address the current lack of governance by ending the short-term decisions that regulate fishing from year to year and by using EU funds effectively. Speaking on behalf of the Alliance, Irish Chef Evan Doyle of Euro-Toques said: "Chefs don't want fish to become a rare delicacy. The wild fish on our plates could disappear if the EU misses this year's opportunity to reform the Common Fisheries Policy and put its fisheries on the road to recovery and sustainable management."

"When it comes to the question of how EU funds should be spent, there is no room for bargaining: future fisheries funds should be targeted to maintaining fish stocks in the long-term and ensuring consumers "can have their fish and eat it too."

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