OCEAN2012 Calls EU Fisheries Subsidies 'Blind Spending'
BRUSSELS — Markus Knigge, adviser to the Pew Environment Group’s European Marine Programme and the OCEAN2012 coalition, issued the following statement today as the European Commission published its proposal (PDF) for the next fisheries subsidies instrument, the European Fisheries and Maritime Fund.
“In 2008, the European Commission identified overcapacity as one of the primary drivers of overfishing, and public subsidies as fuelling the problem. Yet a recent Commission report showed that many member states do not even assess the capacity of their fishing fleets, confirming that EU funds are being spent blindly. Between 2000 and 2008, for example, the EU provided €33.5 million in financial aid for the modernisation of bluefin tuna fishing vessels, which target a species that is so overfished, it is classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
With an economic crisis spreading throughout the EU, the public cannot afford blind spending of EU fisheries subsidies.Markus Knigge
- Official report confirms massive misuse of EU fisheries funds, press release from OCEAN2012 and NGOs, Dec 12 2011, available in English and Spanish.
- Court of auditors report damning costly failures to eliminate overfishing in Europe.
- New online database of €1.1 billion in EU fisheries subsidies; concerns about declining data standards, OCEAN2012 press release, Nov 16 2011.
Notes to Editors
- This press statement is also available in: French / German / Greek / Italian / Polish / Portuguese / Spanish (PDFs)
- European Commission Proposal (COM(2011) 804) for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. Available from the European Commission web pages on the CFP reform, in English German French.
- Joint NGO response to the Commission's proposal (PDF)
- A list of vessels in the tuna fleet that receive EU subsidies is available at www.fishsubsidy.org/EU/tuna-fleet, and a list of vessels convicted of serious infringements (illegal fishing) is available at http://www.fishsubsidy.org/infringements/. A list of vessels that received EU grants for modernisation and shortly afterwards grants for scrapping is available at: http://www.fishsubsidy.org/news/features/modernised-then-scrapped/
- Detailed analysis of EU fisheries subsidies from 2000 to 2006 is available in “FIFG 2000-2006 Shadow Evaluation” (Cappell, R., T. Huntingdon and G. Macfadyen). www.fishsubsidy.org details fisheries subsidies payments under the present European Fisheries Fund (2007 – 2013) and the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (1994-2006).
- Reflections on further reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (PDF)
- Report from the European Commission (PDF) on EU Member States' efforts during 2009 to achieve a sustainable balance between fishing capacity and fishing opportunities.
OCEAN2012 is an alliance of organisations dedicated to transforming European fisheries policy to stop overfishing, end destructive fishing practices and deliver fair and equitable use of healthy fish stocks.
OCEAN2012 was initiated, and is co-ordinated, by the Pew Environment Group, the conservation arm of The Pew Charitable Trusts, a non-governmental organisation working to end overfishing in the world´s oceans.
The steering group of OCEAN2012 consists of the Coalition for Fair Fisheries Arrangements, Ecologistas en Acción, The Fisheries Secretariat, nef (new economics foundation), the Pew Environment Group and Seas At Risk.