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Busy fisheries week ahead in European Parliament
Published:  17 December, 2012

Richard Benyon

This is an intense fisheries week in Brussels, with ministers setting next year’s quotas and the Parliament’s Fisheries Committee voting on the most important file in the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, says CFP Reform Watch.

"EU fisheries ministers will set quotas for the North Sea and Atlantic next year. The UK fisheries minister, Richard Benyon, described this yearly tradition to the Observer as “48 hours of solid, sweaty negotiations. It is known as a three-shirter session.”

"Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will vote on Tuesday 18 December to put a stop to this tradition.

"MEPs will vote on the following proposals: Fishing quotas should be fixed at certain limits under multi-annual plans, instead of having 48-hour negotiations once a year. In case a multi-annual plan is not in place for a fish stock, there will be a default rule forcing ministers to follow scientific advice and set sustainable quotas. More precisely, sustainable quotas would be put in place 2015 in order to rebuild fish stocks to healthy levels by 2020.

"The vote is expected to be very tight. There is a division between MEPs who want to rebuild fish stocks on the one side, and MEPs who want to keep the status quo on the other."

Click the link for the schedule for watching the live debates

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