On the backburner

Published: Friday 31 May 2002

The reforms to the European Union's (eu) Common Fisheries Policy (cfp) are getting delayed, thanks to intense lobbying from Spain. Now, the reform proposal has been removed from the agenda of the weekly commission meetings.

Fishing in Spain has political importance. It receives us $1.2 billion in public subsidies from eu, which are spent on the cfp annually. The new eu reform plans include an emergency vessel scrapping programme and an end to subsidies that increase the capacity of the fishing fleet.

Even as the World Wide Fund for Nature levelled charges against the commission of buckling to pressure, eu fisheries commissioner believes changes to the cfp are the only way to prevent fish stock decline in Europe. The eu fleet is still as much as 40 per cent too big for the resources in eu waters.

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