EU fisheries chief sees 'healthy' level of fishing by 2017

BRUSSELS – European Union fisheries leaders say they are moving towards more efficient and sustainable fishing that should see the stocks of threatened species recover while securing the livelihood of fishermen.

EU fisheries chief Maria Damanaki said Thursday, at the end of three days of negotiations, that “a healthy level for almost all stocks” can be achieved by 2015, with four others reaching that target only four years later.

At the end of a marathon all-night negotiating session, fishing nations like France and Britain were happy their fishermen were given enough leeway for profitable fishing. Environmentalists complained several member states still sought too much short-term gain for their industry but said that after decades of slumping stocks due to overfishing there were finally signs for a turnaround in EU policy.

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