Scottish fishermen slam report as ‘misleading’
By SeafoodSource staff
21 August, 2012
The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) is blasting a report from the New Economics Foundation (NEF) and Ocean2012 for containing misleading information about UK and European fisheries.
SFF said the continuing flow of wrong information on fisheries from environmental organizations does a huge disservice to the general public and jeopardizes the future of an industry that has made strides in recent years to ensure the sustainable harvesting of stocks.
“The 2012 Fish Dependence Report,” states that EU fish stocks are in “an unprecedentedly poor state.” SFF said the statement is profoundly wrong and ignores a evidence that EU fish stocks are actually recovering following years of quota cutbacks and other conservation measures.
The EC stated in June that overfished stocks in the northeast Atlantic and nearby seas fell from 32 out of 34 stocks in 2005 to 18 out of 38 stocks in 2012, or from 97 percent to 47 percent. The situation is continuing to improve year-on-year and crucial fish stocks such as North Sea and West of Scotland haddock are now being fished sustainably, said SFF.
The fishermen's group also pointed to conservation initiatives that are being undertaken by fishermen. Prawn fishermen have responded dramatically to the challenge to significantly reduce cod and other fish discards by developing and introducing a number of innovative trawl designs that have cut bycatch by around 70 percent in trials.
“This latest report is advocacy dressed up as science and economics. The primary evidence for this misleading statement is based on decreased annual landings. Of course landings have decreased, but this is a logical response to allowing stock to recover,” said Bertie Armstrong, SFF CEO. “In reality, our stocks are in an unprecedented state of recovery following years of real sacrifice by the fishing industry. Indeed, the EC only very recently said that the situation was improving, which is leading to increases in quotas for some species."
21 August, 2012