The European Parliament approved the EU's Common Fisheries Policy reform while called for a sustainable fishing

MEPs adopted a major reform of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The vote sets out clear and strong measures to tackle this problem. Among other measures, MEPs called on member states to prevent setting quotas that are too high to be sustainable from 2015 on.

The European Parliament approved in plenary session the EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform which aims to cut fishing to sustainable stock levels, end dumping at sea, and base long-term planning on sound scientific data. European Commission figures suggest that 80% of Mediterranean stocks and 47% of Atlantic ones are overfished. The Commission highlighted that its reform proposal presented in July 2011 is based on sustainability.

MEPs voted to oblige fishing vessels to land all catches in accordance with a schedule of specific dates for different fisheries, starting from 2014. Landed catches of fish that are undersized, for example, would be restricted to uses other than human consumption. Member states must ensure that fishing vessels comply with the discard ban.

According to MEPs, the reform will rely on multi-annual fish stock management plans to ensure that fishing stays sustainable. Taking a longer term approach should improve market predictability, which in turn should help the industry to invest better and plan ahead. Multi-annual plans will be based on more reliable and accurate scientific data, which EU member states will be obliged to collect and make available. The new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is to take effect in 2014.