Towards a strategy to protect and conserve the marine environment` COM(2002) 539

Report on the Commission Communication

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Conclusions of the Report The Committee on Fisheries calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following points in its motion for a resolution: 1.Welcomes the Commission`s Communication on developing a strategy to protect and conserve the marine environment; 2. Concurs with the analysis contained therein that overfishing is a common problem worldwide, resulting in depleted fish stocks of commercial importance; threats to species such as other fish, sharks, birds, marine mammals and turtles; and damage to the marine habitat and threats to jobs linked to or deriving from fishing; 3. Recognises that overfishing is but one of the serious threats that harm the marine environment but considers that it is one of the most important to deal with rapidly and effectively, if fish stocks are to recover and be maintained, as appropriate, so as to provide hope for coastal communities; 4. Notes that fish from around the world is available in the Community, either caught by EU-flagged vessels or obtained on the international market, thereby giving the Community a significant responsibility for the impact of fishing; 5. Calls upon the Council and the Commission to take the necessary action to conserve fish stocks both on the high seas and in the waters of third countries; 6. Urges the Council and the Commission to make full and prompt utilization of the new opportunities to improve fisheries management that were included in the new Basic Regulation 2371/2002, agreed in the December 2002 Council meeting.

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