I have previously reported that the European Union was threatening recreational anglers with absorption into the Common Fisheries Policy.
A vote in the European Parliament this week has got them off the hook.
Article 47 of the proposed regulation would have forced recreational fishermen to register their boats. Their catch would have been counted against the fisheries quota for their country. Nations would additionally be made to allocate a share of their quota for each fish species to both commercial and recreational fishermen.
However, the European Parliament Fisheries Committee backed a Conservative proposal to reword the legislation so that national governments could decide whether they would include recreational fishermen in the regulation. The Parliament has now supported this position.
East Midlands Conservative MEP Roger Helmer commented:
“The Parliament’s approval of this amendment, together with assurances we have received from Commissioner Borg, reassures me that recreational anglers have nothing to fear from the revised article 47.
During the debate he told us he wished all member states to conduct an analysis of the impact recreational angling has on fish stocks.
I hope he will accept the view of the European parliament, who rejected this by an overwhelming majority and accepted the Conservative amendment that leaves it up to individual countries whether they apply these measures or not.
Rather than attacking anglers, the European Commission must sort out the crazy situation with discards, where millions of tons of healthy fish are wasted every year.”