Hudghton (Greens/EFA) - Mr President, it is essential that fishing effort – and I mean effort as opposed to capacity – is matched to fishery resources. Member States must also be obliged to fulfil their fleet reduction targets so I welcome the general thrust of Mr Busk's report. Unfortunately, an amendment in committee added a reference to the Cunha report and brought with it the concept of quota penalties, a proposal which is against the acquis communautaire. As the Commission itself stated in this House on a previous occasion, and I quote: "The automatic reduction in quotas for noncomplying countries seriously undermines the basic principle of the common fisheries policy which is that of relative stability".

Quota penalties are impractical as well as unjust, punishing fishermen for their Member State's wrongdoing. Quotas should be based on science and conservation objectives, not misused as automatic penalties. I ask therefore for a separate and split vote on paragraph 4 of this text and I urge Members to reject the references to the Cunha report and make sure that effective sanctions are targeted against those who are obliged to fulfil MAGP targets, that is, Member State governments, and not fishermen.

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