WRITTEN QUESTION E-1850/02 by Paulo Casaca (PSE) to the Commission. Lack of consistency and coherence in EU fisheries legislation.
OJ C 192E , 14.8.2003, p. 23–24 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)
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WRITTEN QUESTION E-1850/02
by Paulo Casaca (PSE) to the Commission
(28 June 2002)
Subject: Lack of consistency and coherence in EU fisheries legislation
The Commission's recent legislative proposals COM(2001) 764 and COM(2002) 108, are seriously inconsistent with the existing Community legislation and are, besides, internally inconsistent.
In the titles of the documents, the Commission, instead of using the straightforward term deep-sea species, speaks of deep-sea [fish] stocks; the references to the ICES and CECAF geographical areas are inconsistent with those in the earlier legislation; and even in their listing of species eligible for quotas and the corresponding amounts, and their non-inclusion of key species such as wreckfish, these legislative proposals are marred by serious defects which could have extremely adverse consequences for the Azores.
Does the Commission not consider it necessary to take proper account (meaning more than a pro forma consultation) of the views of the political and economic agents involved, before drawing up proposals whose implementation will, as in this case, be of major significance for a given region?
Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission
(2 August 2002)
It is a major concern to assure the sustainable exploitation of deep-water species, and the Commission has proposed measures consistent with scientific advice about the state of these species and the fisheries that they can sustain. This is the case for all sea areas concerned, including the Azores.
However, there is no current scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea nor from the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries concerning wreckfish, and accordingly the Commission has not made conservation proposals concerning this species at this time.
The Portuguese version of the deep-sea species regulations will be amended to take into account the language issue that is referred to.
Consideration of economic and political factors has its place in the fish stock management process, but the first and most important step must be to ensure that fisheries development is sustainable. Once sustainability is assured, then rational decisions about fisheries exploitation can be made. In any case, the Commission will consult the relevant industry sectors in respect of the development of conservation policy in respect of deep-sea species.