General Fisheries Mediterranean

Kriton Arsenis, on behalf of the S&D Group. (EL) Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, the Mediterranean represents a very small part of our planet, just around 1% of its seas, but it is very rich: it has 8% to 9% of marine biodiversity. Half of all European fishing vessels are in the Mediterranean, 60% of work and employment in fisheries are in the Mediterranean and, unfortunately, 54% of fish are overfished and 32% to 36% of fish are over their biological limits. What is to blame? Obviously, the failure of the common fisheries policy to date, the failure, on numerous occasions, to apply our joint decisions and, above all, the decisions taken with no regard for scientific data, the decisions which we take subjectively based on poorly thought-out national interests.

In 2006, the Commission tried to rectify the problem of the Mediterranean. We had the regulation on fishing in the Mediterranean, but the problems do not stop with what we Member States of the European Union do. Fishing in the Mediterranean and the future of stocks depends on what all the Mediterranean countries, both inside and outside the European Union, do for this common resource and, if we do not act in common, this resource will be at immediate risk.

We proceeded with the first reading of this report and I am sorry to say that the Council, which is absent from the House today, was strangely insistent on the question of promoting the implementing measures. The Council needs to understand that the Treaty of Lisbon has to be applied and it should accept Parliament’s right to participate in these decisions and accept delegated acts.