NEF blasts UK fisheries, ministers for overfishing

By

Sean Murphy, SeafoodSource online editor

Published on
March 27, 2015

A new report from a U.K. think tank is accusing fisheries there of overfishing, accusing fisheries ministers of ignoring current scientific data on endangered fish stocks.

The New Economics Foundation (NEF) report, Landing the Blame: Overfishing in Northern European Waters, indicates between 1987 and 2011 U.K. government officials have set catch limits as much as 33 percent higher on average than scientific advice from groups such as the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas

“For many years scientific advice has not been given the attention it deserves,” NEF said in a statement.

NEF also noted that catch limits for 31 of 69 stocks have been set above recommended limits in 2014, which the group said is a sign that things are not getting better. The report calls out certain countries and ministers as responsible, but also notes many negotiations of catch limits are not public, and that’s part of the problem.

“This lack of transparency means it is not possible to identify those ministers that ignore scientific advice and push for short-term interests, risking the health of fish stocks for future generations,” NEF said.

This is the third of a series of briefings NEF has produced, the others on overfishing in the Baltic Sea and deep sea commercial fishing.

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