European Parliament approves fisheries reforms

December 10, 2013 - 9:05 AM

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The European Parliament has approved a fishing reform intended to ensure that overfished seas can repopulate.

The policy, which goes into effect in 2014, requires European countries to set quotas and fishermen to respect a "maximum sustainable yield." That means catching no more of a particular species than it can reproduce.

The policy also bans the practice of catching and discarding unwanted fish along with commercial species, starting in 2019.

A measure that would have banned deep-sea bottom trawling failed to win a majority. Greenpeace called that decision "astonishing."

Separately, the parliament approved a major treaty with Morocco to resume fishing off the coast of Morocco and the disputed territory of Western Sahara. The treaty is controversial because it was negotiated without representation from the local Sahrawi people.