Saturday, 23 July 2011

European Commission Apologises for Disastrous Fishing Policy - The Telegraph

photo credit Reuters

"Sorry" won't fix it, but at least it's a start...

"The European Commission has apologised for decades of an EU fishing policy so disastrous that the next generation of children may never see fish on their dinner plate."

You know, I've been suggesting that as a possible fate for a long time, and people think I'm being over-dramatic. Well, there you have it, folks. It just might happen. Hate to say I told you so.

Maria Damanaki, the EU's maritime commissioner, admits "We cannot afford business as usual. Maybe 10 years ago, the past, it was easier for us, in the European Commission, in governments, in the sector, to close our eyes. We cannot do that anymore because if we do our children will see fish, not on their plates, but only in pictures."

Worldwide, the average percentage of overfished stocks hangs around 25%. In Europe it's 88%.

Damanaki's new vision is to begin 15-year plans based on scientific advice in 2013. Fishing fleets will be substantially reduced and stocks will be given a chance to recover. Her prediction is that stocks should recover 70% in 10 years, after which catch numbers can be gently increased again.

"The current CFP has failed. It has not given us healthy fish stocks and it has not delivered a sustainable living for our fishing industry. Only genuine fundamental reform of this broken policy can turn around these failures. We need to end the unacceptable practice of throwing dead fish back to the sea. It's a terrible waste of perfectly good food and one of the biggest failings of the [Common Fishing Policy]," said Richard Benyon, British fisheries minister.

I sincerely hope that true, progressive reform is made and the European Commission will decide to protect fish species instead of their wallets.

Full article here (The Telegraph)

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