Dispute over fishing fleets

NYBORG, Denmark (AFP) – The six biggest EU fishing states reiterated yesterday their aim to fight plans to scale back Europe’s fishing fleet by cooking up their own counterplan. Ministers from the six, including Ireland and five Mediterranean states, will meet in Lisbon Friday to firm up the counterproposals, after the European Commission presented its plans in June. The six countries involved are France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, drew immediate criticism from the major fishing nations when it presented proposals to reform the Common Fisheries Policy in June. The planned reforms would lead to the loss of an estimated 28,000 jobs in the fishing industry. French Agriculture Minister Herve Gaymard said the counterproposals may not be finalized by September 23, but insisted they would be ready by the start of October at the latest. The EU’s agriculture ministers were speaking on the sidelines of informal talks in Denmark, which currently holds the EU presidency. Both sides said a compromise was necessary. «We are not blocking things. We want to work constructively,» said Gaymard. «We have to think about how to bring the adversaries closer together without losing the substance of the reforms,» said Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler. – In Caribs, BP for 70,000 tons of cargo, loading Sept. 13, discharging US Gulf, has fixed M/T «Sealoyalty» at W/S 125.

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