WWF: Where are the other 23 fisheries ministers?
Four European fisheries ministers signed a declaration to end the practice of discarding fish at sea following a meeting EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki held on the matter in Brussels on Tuesday.
Fisheries ministers from Denmark, France, Germany and the United Kingdom made the commitment as part the EU’s new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), slated for reform in 2012, according the to the World Wildlife Fund, which in turn called on the other 23 European Union member states follow suit.
“Although we welcome this commitment to ending discards, we now want to see ministers champion these views across Europe and put them in practice,” said Louize Hill, head of marine and fisheries at WWF’s European Policy Office. “We do have serious concerns about the ministers suggesting to remove the ban on landing small sized fish. Rather than creating new markets for smaller and juvenile fish, these shouldn’t be caught in the first place. Adopting selective fishing practices throughout Europe is the real solution for ending discards.”
The Marine Conservation Society also weighed in on the effort to end discards. “The problem is there are some ideas of what needs to happen with the CFP, but the requirement for agreement by the member states makes this uncertain as not all countries desire significant reform,” said Peter Duncan, MCS fisheries program manager.