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EU fisheries policy sparks debate

Oct. 24, 2012 at 8:36 AM

BRUSSELS, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- A provisional deal in the European Union to redraft fisheries policy was welcomed in London, though Greenpeace said it's a waste of taxpayer money.

European lawmakers backed a provision deal to retool its Common Fisheries Policy to curb overfishing in regional waters. The provision measure would end the use of discards, a practice of dumping dead fish overboard to meet quota targets.

EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki said the deal is weaker than she had expected. The British government, reports the BBC, said it was "delighted" that more funding would go toward reforming fisheries policy, though Greenpeace said it was a waste of money.

Saskia Richartz, fisheries policy director for Greenpeace, said subsidizing a fisheries sector that continues to deplete resources doesn't make sense.

"Wasting taxpayers' money on what causes the problem in the first place is ridiculous- - it is like paying someone to rob you," she said in a statement.

Greenpeace said subsidies outlined in the reform would upgrade fishing vessels and cover losses brought on by fishery closures that are enacted because of overfishing.

The proposal has yet to go before the full European Parliament.

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