75% of European fish stocks are overexploited and almost one-third of fishing jobs in Europe have been lost in the last decade alone. This is the result of 30 years of mismanagement. You have been entrusted to work with the European Parliament to reform Europe’s broken fisheries policy and stop the bankrupting of our seas.
Yet, in recent weeks, horse-trading to accommodate all European countries in their demands on this once-in-a-decade reform has resulted in an agreement that is astonishingly irresponsible.
If this backroom deal would be adopted unchanged, it would sanction overfishing for another decade, by which time most of the industry will have fished itself out of business. Your proposal lacks the ambition to prioritise the restoration of fish populations to levels that can be fished sustainably. In fact, all environmental considerations have been de-prioritised, while promises to promote the interests of the fishing and aquaculture industry have taken their place.
It is this pursuit of short-term economic interests at the expense of long-term sustainability that has pushed fisheries deeper into crisis.
You can break the downward cycle of destruction and bring European fisheries back from the brink. We urge you to reject the quick fixes and rushed compromises that will be tabled by the Danish presidency at the forthcoming Council of EU Ministers. Do what it takes to recover a thriving marine environment, prospering coastal communities and sustainable seafood for generations to come.