According to research published today by the Pew Environment Group and the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), EU Member States are not fully complying with their legal obligation to assess annually their effort to reach a sustainable balance between the capacity to catch fish and the fish available.
In January 2009, the European Commission published the Member State reports for 2007 and the Commission's summary. The IEEP's evaluation is mainly based on this information. EU Commissioner Joe Borg has singled-out overcapacity as a major source of the CFP's failure.
“If overcapacity is one of the key issues, then we need to know how much and where it is,” said Markus Knigge, research director of the Pew Environment Group's EU Marine Programme. “What this research shows is that, despite the legal obligation, not all Member States have been adequately reporting their fleet overcapacity. Repeated requests to comply have had little effect, making any EU-wide assessment impossible.”
Pew calls on the European Commission and Member States to protect the EU fishing fleet by:
“Overcapacity is contributing to the massive depletion of valuable fish stocks, yet nobody knows how much and where it is occurring,” said Knigge. “It is time to tackle and assess it as a first step to stopping EU overfishing.”
Download the full report here.
Note to the Editor: