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'Welsh people are making a difference on fish rules' - local Euro-MP

Fish fight campaign

A campaign backed by thousands of people in Wales to change European fishing rules and prevent the collapse of fish stocks in British waters has been boosted by an announcement of reform plans in Brussels.

The Fish Fight campaign, promoted by celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (above), has called for EU fisheries policies to be reformed to stop the practice of discards, in which dead fish are thrown back into the sea in order to avoid less valuable produce counting against a vessel's quota.

Welsh Labour Euro-MP, DEREK VAUGHAN, has today welcomed an announcement by the European Commission that it intends to take action against the practice.

Mr Vaughan said:

"The public campaign is having an impact, with the European Commission now recognising that the status-quo is not an option.

"There's still a long way to go in delivering effective reforms, but the fact that the European Commission is talking about major changes is thanks to the efforts of people from Wales who have joined hundreds of thousands of others in piling on the pressure."

While today's announcement demonstrates the European Commission's intention to take action on the issue, there are still months of negotiations to come, so the final outcome of any reforms are not yet clear.

Mr Vaughan added:

"This is an important first step on the road to reform, but there is still a long way to go until we have a fisheries policy that is fit for purpose.

"We must now look at the proposals in detail and see how they can be built upon through the coming months of negotiations to deliver a fisheries policy that is good for fish and good for the long-term interests of Welsh fishermen."

The European Commission announced its plans for reform of the Common Fisheries Policy this afternoon (13 July). Full details can be found at: 

More information about the Fish Fight campaign can be found at: 

- Thursday, 14 July 2011 -

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