Ahead of a vote in the European Parliament on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy – which if adopted by MEPs and EU ministers will lead to improved fish stocks, better incomes for fishermen and more jobs in the industry, as well as an end to the wasteful practice of “discarding” unwanted dead fish – the Express chose to focus on the so-called “Outcry over EU plot to seize control of our seabed“.
In reality, the EU is no more seizing power over the UK’s seabed than measures to protect birds, would mean seizure of UK airspace.
At the centre of the storm, an amendment tabled by an MEP to include under the reform package “sessile” species (ie animals attached to a solid substrate like a rock, or the seabed) such as sponges or some jellyfish. Essentially, addressing the conservation, management and exploitation of marine biological resources.
It is not about the transfer of powers to the EU, or seizure of sovereignty over the UK’s seabed, or the rights to minerals, such as oil or gas. Nor is it about controlling the fish above the seabed.
Don’t just take our word for it. Today Defra posted this clarification on their website.