A group of stakeholders from global environmental organisations have urged the EU to protect environmental standards ahead of negotiations on marine regulations.
Ahead of the negotiations, which will take place this month, heads of five global environmental organisations have written to Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, to warn about the potential environmental consequences of an updated regulation to conserve the marine environment through fisheries technical measures.
The signatories to the letter include:
- Oceana in Europe;
- Seas At Risk;
- Birdlife Europe and Central Asia; and
- The WWF’s European Policy Office.
The group of stakeholders warns that the state of play and the positions adopted by the European Council last year and by the European Parliament this year could lead to a weakening of the common fisheries policy (CFP).
What concerns are expressed in the letter?
The global environmental organisations behind the letter say that they have worked alongside the European Commission for the past two years to improve a regulation to conserve the marine environment through fisheries technical measures.
However, many of their additions to the commission’s proposal have been removed ahead of this month’s trialogue negotiations with the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, the letter reports.
It reads: “Members of the European Parliament and the council have decided to delete some crucial provisions and failed to introduce necessary measures that would have ensured coherence with other existing environmental laws.”
In fact, some of the measures would contradict those in the CFP, and could weaken environmental legislation, the group argues: “Mitigation measures for sea turtles that are protected under EU law are completely missing, as well as having meaningful and necessary targets to reduce unwanted catches of juvenile fish. These, amongst others, are fundamental to be able to achieve concrete results in terms of conservation of the marine environment through technical conservation measures.”