Press Release

OCEAN2012 Calls EU Fisheries Subsidies 'Blind Spending'

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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

Related news

  • 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.

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