EU Fish Deal welcomed but not radical enough- SW Lib Dem MEP Watson

June 13, 2012 1:40 PM

South West Euro-MP for the Lib Dems Sir Graham Watson has welcomed this morning's deal by Fisheries Ministers but says a lack of a definitive timetable is disappointing.

The agreement, reached at 4.30am by the Council of Ministers, representatives from all 27 EU fishery Ministries calls to end the practice on discards, which have been highlighted by the Channel 4 Fish Fight campaign as well as moves to decentralise powers away fromBrussels. However, Watson believes that underneath the headlines, the agreement lacks the foundations for a sustainable future.

"Whilst we are one step closer to seeing the end of the abhorrent practice of discarding fish, the timetable of up to six years is not in the interests of consumers or the fishing community.

"It appears very little has been agreed beyond a gentleman's agreement to end overfishing. In the coming months we must see more progress on the nuts and bolts of reform.

"The coalition government must press harder to get all EU members to sign up to a long lasting, radical reform.

"We need to move the debate quickly and promptly before our fishing stocks are beyond repair. We continue to have too many boats chasing too few fish in Europe."