Author: Sarah Todd
Date: October 15, 2013
As the European Parliament plenary vote on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) approaches, we need to put pressure on MEPs to make sure that they vote for a fund that is in line with the new Common Fisheries Policy’s objectives. The new EMFF will define the way aid is granted to the European fishing sector for the next seven years. This is a unique opportunity for the European Union to put an end to the ineffective and wasteful practices of the past, and it should not be missed.
In July, the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee, the leading committee on this file voted to reintroduce subsidies to build new boats. These were actually faded out during the last CFP reform because Europe already has three times more boats than what fish stocks can sustainably bear. So why fund the building of new boats, when we already have too many boats chasing too few fish? This is an absurd and dangerous measure, and not the way European citizen’s money should be spent.
The “Invest in Fish” Twitter action was launched so that we can make our voices heard. It allows people who care about the oceans to take action directly, by asking their representatives at the European Parliament to say no to subsidies for the construction of new boats, and yes to subsidies for more data, control and enforcement.
By going to http://votefish.org, you can send your MEP a tweet to ask him/her to him to “vote for investment in more fish, not in new boats” on October 23rd.
During the reform of the CFP, a heartwarmingly high number of European citizens got involved by signing petitions and reaching out to their representatives to tell them that they wanted change. The result was a new Common Fisheries Policy which clearly represents a positive step forward for the marine environment and the fishing sector. This is a chance to make sure that all the good work is not undermined, and open a new era for European fisheries.
Take action for the oceans: ask your Member of Parliament to invest in more fish, not in more boats.