European Commission legislates only to please NGOs, says Spanish MEP
Press Release ( EPP Group )
10. May 2012
Shark Fisheries Regulation: Carmen Fraga MEP accuses European Commission of legislating only to please NGOs and to scorn fisheries sector
Fisheries Committee MEP Carmen Fraga has accused the European Commission of “legislating to please NGOs” and to scorn the fisheries sector, after a Regulation proposal on sharks that is “economic and morally demolishing” for the EU fleet.
“This is a demolishing proposal for the freezer trawler fleet; in economic terms, as they will lose 30% of their benefits, but also on moral terms because it does not have any scientific base. This proposal is the consequence of Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki only listening to the unfounded NGO public campaigns without even listening to the alternatives offered by the fishing sector”, Carmen Fraga stated.
The Commission proposal eliminates the authorisation for vessels to land shark fins and carcasses separately with the argument that is the only way to eradicate the ‘finning’ practice, which consists of cutting the shark fin – a high value product on a lot of Asian markets – and throwing the carcass into the sea. This practice is considered by some NGOs as the main reason for the extinction of some shark species.
But the truth is that the ban on finning in all EU vessels was demanded and was implemented in 2003, as the fleet commercialises all the different parts of the sharks. If freezer trawlers are forced now to land the whole shark carcass without processing they will face a space problem, will lose 30% of the benefits of each fishing period and create problems for workers as it is much more difficult to process a shark which is already frozen.
“The EU fleet has never practiced finning. They will not win anything with this proposal and they will lose everything, and the only reason is the will of Mrs Damanaki to please the NGOs campaining for the finning ban, instead of taking care of implementing the ban in other world fleets where this is a current practice”, Mrs Fraga said at a public hearing organised by the EPP Group on these proposals, with representatives of the European Commission and stakeholders.
Carmen Fraga informed that the fleet has presented alternative proposals that will be part of the European Parliament Report – drafted by Portuguese EPP Group MEP Maria do Céu Patrão Neves. She also denounced that Commissioner Damanaki has halted any possibility of compromise on these alternative proposals that have been welcomed by scientific experts and even European Commission officials.
“I hope that the European Commission will consider the control measures that the fleet is proposing at its own costs, changes it mind and presents legislative proposals more based on reason rather than on emotion”, she concluded.
For more information on the Hearing, click here.
Source: EPP Group Press and Communications Service