The date today is 09-02-09

Politicians on Article 47

Jan 22nd, 2009 | By ssacn | Category: SSACN Announcements

The Commission are pressing ahead with a rapid timetable to try to get this regulation agreed before parliament closes in May for the Euro elections. This will probably mean that there will be a report drawn up by the Fisheries Committee’s rapporteur Raul Romeva I Rueda (Greens) and discussed at the next Fisheries Committee meeting on 10/11 February.

It is unlikely that the rapporteur will seek to delete Article 47 in his report.

A deadline will be set for amendments following which there will be a vote in Committee probably on Tuesday 31st March in Brussels, which as many MEPs as possible should be contacted to call for its deletion, otherwise it will go to the full plenary session from 20-23 April, when the full parliament votes on the recommendation from the Fisheries Committee.

The following are copies of communications we have received :

Neil Parish MEP to Hilary Benn MP

Hilary Benn MP

House of Commons

London
SW1A 0AA

9th January 2009,

Dear Hilary,

Recreational Fishing

I am writing to you with regards to the proposed new Common Fisheries Policy legislation with regards specifically to Article 47 and recreational fishing.

I have had many complaints from my constituents who are concerned that these proposed changes will force limits on line fishermen who fish for fun from private boats, canoes, or even on the edge of a pier. They are also concerned that these proposals may force the 1.4 million recreational anglers in the UK to reveal details of all the fish they catch and for every vessel, even canoes which catch fish at least once a year, to be registered as fishing vessels.

As I am sure you can understand, the constituency which I represent, the South West of England benefits considerably from tourism generated by sea anglers and therefore can you confirm that the situation outlined above will not be the case and can you also confirm exactly what are the Commission’s intentions in this area.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Parish MEP

Response from Elspeth Attwool MEP

Thank you for your correspondence about Article 47 of the Control Regulation. I share your concerns over this.

Unfortunately, the Article is not clearly drafted, but as far as I can understand it the European Commission intends it to apply only where there is a multi-annual (recovery) plan, for stocks outside safe biological limits, such as with cod and blue fin tuna and where the fishing is done from onboard a vessel. This means that it would not affect most recreational sea fisheries, including any done from onshore, or angling on inland waters.

As I understand it, the Commission’s concern is with the substantial amounts that are caught by some recreational fisheries in relation to the species covered by the multi annual recovery plans. For example, it is estimated that in Italy (2007), 800 tonnes of blue fin tuna were caught by recreational fishers whilst the national quota is around 4,300 tonnes. On my reading, too, the Article is intended to prevent commercial fishing under the guise of recreational fishing.

That said, Article 47 sets a precedent of which we should be very wary. Please be assured that this point has already been raised with some force in the course of our deliberations in the Fisheries Committee. It seems clear that there will be amendments from committee members asking for the Article to be deleted from the proposal or, failing that, amended very substantially indeed.

I should add, though, that under the current procedures, the Parliament can only give an opinion and the final decision is taken by the Council of Fisheries Ministers. So, it would be useful, too, for you to make the government directly aware of your views on the issue.

Yours sincerely,
Elspeth Attwooll MEP

 

Neil Parish MEP to Commissioner Joe Borg

Commissioner Joe Borg
Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs
European Commission
B 1049
Brussels

9th January 2009,

Dear Commissioner Borg,

Recreational Fishing

I am writing to you with regards to the proposed new Common Fisheries Policy legislation with regards specifically to Article 47 and recreational fishing.

I have had many complaints from my constituents who are concerned that these proposed changes will force limits on line fishermen who fish for fun from private boats, canoes, or even on the edge of a pier. They are also concerned that these proposals may force the 1.4 million recreational anglers in the UK to reveal details of all the fish they catch and for every vessel, even canoes which catch fish at least once a year, to be registered as fishing vessels.

As I am sure you can understand, the constituency which I represent, the South West of England benefits considerably from tourism generated by sea anglers and therefore can you confirm that the situation outlined above will not be the case and can you also confirm exactly what are the Commission intentions in this area.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Parish MEP

Motion Lodged by John Scott MSP

S3M-03263 John Scott (Ayr) (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party): Recreational Fishing - Article 47— That the Parliament notes with concern Article 47 of draft EU regulation SEC(2008) 2760/61, which would bring recreational sea fishermen under the direct control of the Common Fisheries Policy; understands that it would require recreational fishermen to register their boats, that their catches would be counted against the fisheries quota for that country and that each country would be required to allocate the share of its quota for each fish species that would be available for commercial and recreational fisheries use; believes that these proposals would create enormous administrative problems and would be effectively unworkable in a Scottish context; further believes that they will contribute little to the conservation of fishing stocks, and therefore calls on the Scottish Government to make representations to the European Commission opposing the provisions of Article 47 of the draft EU regulation.

Lodged on Wednesday, January 21, 2009

John Purvis MEP to SSACN

Thank you for your email regarding article 47. I share your concern.

As you are already aware, a Council Regulation on control systems for compliance with the Common Fisheries Policy will be discussed in the Fisheries Committee this month. Like my colleague, Mr Struan Stevenson, who is a member of the Fisheries committee, I fully support measures which aim to protect and conserve our depleting fish stocks. However, the Conservative delegation here at the European Parliament is concerned that Article 47 of the Regulation, which will bring recreational fisheries under the direct control of the Common Fisheries Policy, is a step too far.

If adopted, article 47 would require recreational anglers throughout the EU to apply for special licences and log and register their catches, where they are fishing for species covered by a multi-annual recovery plan. Member States would have to allocate a quota for recreational anglers and this would be deducted from their national quota. Recreational anglers would also be prohibited from selling any fish they catch.

As European lawmakers we must aim for balance in all our policies. Article 47 is not about balance, it is about bureaucracy and the surveillance state. Let me assure you that we will be voting against this article.

Yours sincerely,

John Purvis - Member of the European Parliament for Scotland

Avril Doyle MEP for Ireland East and Vice Chair of the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee

Speaking after yesterdays meeting of the Fisheries Committee, Avril Doyle said that the prospects for the controversial Article 47 (of the draft proposal on the Community Control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy) concerning the inclusion Recreational Fisheries surviving in its current state are slim to none.

The level of concern expressed from colleagues as well as constituents not only in Ireland, but in Scotland and the rest of Europe has meant that the Rapporteur, Mr. Romera I Rueda, has agreed to revisit this Article.

“The CFP control and compliance system needs reform, with priority on need for equivalence of controls and the harmonising of sanctions across the EU, as well as on the proportionality of responses to infringements as recommended by the European Court of Auditors. The Commission provided examples of fines for the same infringements in different EU Member States which astoundingly ranged from 100 to 6, 000 Euros. This is completely unacceptable.

I will be proposing an amendment to delete Article 47 from the report to remove recreational sea fisheries from the scope of the controls. There is good support in the Committee for this move. While it currently would cover off shore sea angling and fish stocks under Recovery Plans, (Blue Fin Tuna and Cod Stocks) we need to establish a record of even handed EU wide compliance before extending the scope of the Common Fisheries Policy to recreational activities.

Article 47 is unworkable and scientifically unjustified as in the main, recreational anglers have a record as conservationists by nature and have a record of cooperating fully with the management of any vulnerable stocks.

However the Council of Ministers will have the final say.

Related posts:

  1. Conservatives seek to exclude angling from Article 47
  2. MEP says no to Article 47
  3. Latest EU nonsense
  4. LENIN and Article 47
  5. UK Government not consulted on Art 47

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