I just found an email in my inbox from Chris Davies the Liberal Democrat MEP sitting on the EU Fisheries Committee. In it he asks us to write to our MEP’s urging them to vote for the changes to the Common Fisheries Policy in the Plenary vote on Wednesday 6th February. The debate on this is tomorrow, the 5th, followed by the vote on Wednesday.
If you follow the link lower down you can quickly find out who all your European MEP’s are and write an email to all of them. My email to my east of England MEP’s is appended, please feel free to cut and paste if you wish, but bear in mind it will carry more weight if it is your own words.
This is the text of Chris’s email:
Vital Votes in European Parliament in February
Dear Fish Fighter
A quick note to let you know that the vote of the entire European Parliament on reform of the Common Fisheries Policy is due to take place on Wednesday 6 February, following a debate in the chamber at Strasbourg the day before.
The Parliament’s Fisheries Committee voted on the issue before Christmas, and the 13-10 outcome was very satisfactory. Amongst a number of useful proposals it was agreed that legally binding targets should be set to rebuild fish stocks above maximum sustainable yield (MSY), and to end discards by introducing an obligation to land all catches.
The vote in a fortnight will give all MEPs the chance to support or reject this package, as well as to consider any further amendments that have yet to be tabled.
The aim of reformers is to maintain the positive momentum, and alert MEPs who may be sympathetic but rarely take regard of fisheries issues to the importance of supporting reform on this occasion. We’re confident but certainly not complacent.
Once the Parliament has voted we expect the rapporteur (the MEP designated to take a lead) to open negotiations with the Irish deputy ambassador whose task it is to try and thrash out a deal that will be acceptable to both the Parliament and the Council of Ministers. Compromises will inevitably be reached, but the rapporteur, German social democrat Ulrike Rodust, has done a good job so far and she will be no pushover. Her negotiating position will be strengthened if reformers can secure a commanding majority on February 6.
I am expecting British MEPs of all political parties to be supporting the reform position on MSY and discards. However, you might like to email your region’s MEPs and encourage them. You can do that easily by visiting www.writetothem.com and putting in your postcode.
I shall let you know if hostile amendments are tabled, and if we need further help to try and ensure that they do not win support.
Chris Davies MEP
Secretary, cross-party ‘Fish for the Future’ group
Lib Dem environment spokesman
And my email to the MEP’s
FOR THE ATTENTION OF:
- Robert Sturdy MEP
- David Campbell Bannerman MEP
- Vicky Ford MEP
- Stuart Agnew MEP
- Geoffrey Van Orden MEP
- Richard Howitt MEP
- Andrew Duff MEP
Monday 4 February 2013
Dear Stuart Agnew, Vicky Ford, David Campbell Bannerman, Robert Sturdy, Geoffrey Van Orden, Andrew Duff and Richard Howitt,
I write urging you to vote to accept the proposed changes to the Common Fisheries Policy at the vote at the EU Plenary meeting on Wednesday. I think this is a hugely important first step towards guaranteeing longer term survival of fish stocks which is essential to protect the ecosystem the fish need to thrive and thus continue to supply humans with food.
Hopefully this piece of legislation will form part of a framework for sustainably fished oceans and thereby secure the fishing industries and livelihoods of the communities that depend on them for survival, and the associated services and businesses that support the fishermen.
Continued depletion of the fish stocks will ultimately be catastrophic for these people so I hope you will vote for implementation of the changes to prevent this and guarantee the future of all the European fishing industries.
Dr Finn P. Holding