EU finally getting it! MEP admits bloc’s fishing fleet ‘lost important ground to Brexit’

Brexit: Jones urges UK to do 'whatever necessary' to fix 'problem'

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Now seven months on from the UK’s full exit from the EU, one MEP has admitted the future of the fleets across the bloc is now uncertain. The EU agreed to a new £5.2billion fisheries fund on Tuesday but Spanish MEP Gabriel Mato hit out at the new fund. He said: “The new European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) was negotiated at a challenging time.

“The EU fleet lost important fishing grounds because of Brexit, the seafood value chain was paralysed because of the pandemic, and there was pressure to reach an agreement in the WTO on fisheries subsidies.

“In addition, the young generation is reluctant to enter the profession, CO2 emissions must be reduced in line with the Green Deal and international obligations, and aquaculture production is stagnating, while in third countries the sector is thriving.

“This fund humbly seeks to contribute to mitigating these challenges.”

Under the fisheries agreement between Britain and Brussels, the UK’s fishing quotas will increase by 25 percent over a period of five-and-a-half years.

The two sides will also agree the Total Allowable Catch for shared stocks on a yearly basis after 2026 when the adjustment period ends.

The UK will be able to exclude EU boats from 2026 if no agreement is reached between the two sides.

However, the EU managed to link to other areas of the agreement, namely the level playing field, to the fisheries sections.

This means if the UK is found to have violated level playing field requirements, the fisheries section of the deal can be suspended.

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On Tuesday, the EU agreed the mammoth new fund in order to try and support the industry across the bloc.

Despite the concern over the future of the oceans and overfishing across the world, the EU agreed the fund which will run from 2021-2027.

The EMFAF also wants to support fishermen under the age of 40 in order to rejuvenate the industry.

Some campaigners, however, have complained the new deal will encourage overfishing and accelerated the demise of the world’s oceans.

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Anouk Puymartin, EU Marine Policy Officer at BirdLife Europe, said: “In the past days the world has watched in horror as our oceans go up in actual flames.

“With the new EMFAF, the EU is quite literally adding fuel to the ecocide happening in our seas.

“Europeans already know that our oceans are degraded and every day they commit to more actions to save marine life.

“For those citizens, to see elected politicians vote to use their tax money to continue killing our oceans is a direct slap in the face.

“This vote shows that the Members of the EU Parliament are more interested in fighting on behalf of the fishing industry, instead of listening to the people who elected them.”

One French MEP boasted the new fund and the aid which will help France who relies heavily on the fishing sector.

MEP Pierre Karleskind said: “Funds for Normandy and also for Brittany!

“In any case, it is voted, and it will benefit our coastal territories!”

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