Deal reached on reform of EU fisheries policy

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MEPs, government ministers and the European Commission have broadly welcomed a deal on reform of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Speaking on 30 May 2013 after overnight talks, Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki said: "This is a historic step for all those involved in the fisheries sector. We are going to change radically the way we fish in the future."

The three institutions have been negotiating a deal for the past few months, and the agreement includes a legally-binding target to rebuild depleted fish stocks by 2020.

Ulrike Rodust, the MEP leading the European Parliament's negotiations on CFP reform, said that restoring fish stocks would "make Europe less dependent on imports and generate considerable socio-economic benefits in the short to medium term."

Starting in 2015, fishermen will have a legal obligation to land 95% of all fish caught, in an attempt to end the practice of discarding dead fish whereas edible fish is thrown back in the sea due to being over-quota.

The near-end to discards will be phased in covering different species of fish for the period from 2015-2019, although many MEPs originally wanted a full end to discards in 2015 with no phasing-in.

The agreement now needs to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.

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