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Recreational fishing quota rules rejected by Strasbourg

23 April 2009

EU nonsense of quota rules on recreational fishing rejected by Strasbourg but Commission could still push it through, warns Jim Allister MEP

Traditional Unionist MEP Jim Allister has welcomed the defeat in the European Parliament of the Commission proposal that 'recreational sea angling' should be subject to the quota regime, bureaucracy and licensing of the Common Fisheries Policy. 

But Mr Allister today (Thurs 23 April) warned that the EU Commission in Brussels could override the decision of the European Parliament and push though the stupidity of the idea.

Applying quotas to recreational fishing -- a sport that is open to everyone -- was typical of the madness of some EU bureaurcrats, said Mr Allister.

This week the European Parliament voted to radically amend the proposal to bestow upon member states the discretion as to whether to undertake such steps and to expressly exclude fishing from the shoreline.

However, Mr Allister warned, this does not mean the Commission will heed the Parliament, as its function on this issue is only consultative. "This foolhardy suggestion could still be pushed forward by those who dreamt up such foolishness", warned Mr Allister.

Speaking in the chamber the Ulster MEP, who had been to the forefront of those in the Fisheries Committee battling the proposal, said:-
"Mr President, the crass proposal by the Commission, in its original proposition, that they should control recreational fishing and require returns and licensing and everything else that goes with such bureaucracy, was one of the those proposals which, quite rightly, stirred huge opposition, not just in that sector, but amongst those who take an interest in matters pertaining to fishing and to EU bureaucracy.
"I am therefore glad that, today, Amendment 48 has been approved. This at least goes some way to restoring the proper discretion of the Member State as to whether to take any steps in relation to the licensing and the recording of recreational fishing, leaving it to Member States to judge whether there is any impact when in most Member States there is not on the product of fish take from recreational fishing. So I am glad that the Commission has been rebuffed on this proposition and that what started out as bad has been somewhat ameliorated."

But Mr Allister afterwards warned the battle may not have been won.  "The Commission could find a way to push through its legislation ignoring the views and decision of European Parliament Members".

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