EU Commission wants to simplify fisheries rules

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The European Commission want to simplify how fisheries conservation works on the ground.

The changes would see more power for national governments and operators to decide on the details of technical measures, while Brussels would still lay down the general rules and overall objectives for each region and sea basin.

“With this proposal we ensure that our objectives for sustainable fisheries and the protection of marine habitats are reached throughout the EU. Its ‘regionalised approach’ simplifies the rules, in line with our better regulation agenda.”

Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

And there would still be EU rules on prohibited gear and protection of specific species or habitats.

Over the years, EU fisheries rules have become highly complex and the latest Commission move is part of a drive to simplify areas where EU rules have become overly complicated.

EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella said: “With this proposal we ensure that our objectives for sustainable fisheries and the protection of marine habitats are reached throughout the EU. Its ‘regionalised approach’ simplifies the rules, in line with our better regulation agenda. It allows for fisheries management decisions to be made locally, closer to the people they affect.”

In future, if for example a particular habitat like a coral reef needs protection, the national authorities, in consultation with stakeholders, could decide on the details of how to do so, avoiding the lengthy formalities which operate at the moment. As long as they achieve the overall aim of EU fisheries protection, they would be free to decide on their own technical measures.

There is a full Q&A at here.