Franz Fischler, European Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, today [Tuesday] called for international commitment to reform the fisheries sector in order to give it the best chance for survival. Fischler told representatives of the French fishing sector in Paris: "Contrary to what has been widely reported, we are not proposing to scrap any given number of vessels or to destroy thousands of jobs in the fisheries sector. 8,000 fishermen's jobs are already being lost every year and yet crews cannot be found to man fishing vessels because the sector is in decline. What we propose to do is to secure the future of our fisheries by tackling overcapacity and overfishing, which are at the root of the sector's decline and to provide financial help to those who are leaving the sector. In France, fishing makes a valuable contribution to the economy and life of coastal areas from the Channel to the Mediterranean. Courageous decisions must be taken to reform the Common Fisheries Policy for the sake of these areas. You must play your part in ensuring that they are taken by participating fully in the reform process. If we falter, the sector will simply be left to cope on its own with its inexorable decline."