Most European fish stocks stable


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
July 28, 2009

Based on new advice from the International Council for Exploration of the Sea (ICES), the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organizations this week agreed that most European fish stocks are stable.

While the NFFO does believe fish stocks could be better managed to deliver higher yields and more profitable fisheries, the British group calls ICES’s account of European fish stocks overdue and accurate, in contrast to the doomsday stories reported in the mainstream media. NFFO said negative press is damaging the fishing industry’s reputation and consumer confidence in eating seafood.

Presented at the recent Scientific Advice on European Fish Stocks meeting in Brussels, ICES analysis shows while some European fish stocks are improving, others face difficulties. But the vast majority are broadly stable, and that fluctuation in abundance from year to year is normal.

“Our message is rather moderate. We are not in the best of worlds. But we are not in the worst of worlds either. There are some encouraging signs and there are some discouraging signs. In the middle most stocks are stable,” said ICES. “One cannot make general statements about the state of stocks because regional trends vary so widely.”

ICES is a network of more than 1,600 scientists from 200 institutes that offers scientific advice to fisheries managers in the North Atlantic.

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