Oceana: EU failing at fisheries management


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
January 24, 2010

 A report published on Friday by the environmental organization Oceana claimed that Europe will fail to reach its Johannesburg commitment of sustainably managed fisheries by 2015.

According to "Fish and Fisheries," almost 90 percent of European fish stocks are overfished, and catches could be 80 percent higher with sustainable fisheries management.

Landings of northeast Atlantic fish stocks are 7.6 million metric tons, compared to a possible catch of 13.6 million metric tons under sustainable fisheries management, according to the report. The study also examined economic losses, including job losses, for fishing and processing companies.

The report's scientists found that, even if fishing were halted in 2010, 22 percent of European fish stocks are so depleted that they could not be rebuilt by 2015. If the European Union doesn't change to way it manages fisheries, rebuilding fish stocks will take more than 30 years, said the scientists.

Previous findings by Oceana revealed that fishing quotas adopted by European fisheries ministers significantly exceed the scientific recommendations. Over that last 20 years, 78 percent of TAC (total allowable catch) scientific recommendations for EU fish stocks have been ignored, according to Oceana.

"This study … confirms a trend we see throughout all environmental politics in Europe and that is disastrous for the environment and especially for the oceans," said Ricardo Aguilar, scientific director of Oceana Europe. "Europe is not only failing to reach its Johannesburg aim to manage fisheries sustainable until 2015, but Europe will also fail to stop biodiversity loss until 2010, an aim it committed to in the International Convention on Biodiversity."

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