Pew Congratulates the European Parliament for Voting to Enhance EU Fleet Control

Contact: Mike Walker, +32 (0)476 622575

Brussels, Belgium - 04/22/2009 - Uta Bellion, director of the Pew Environment Group’s EU Marine Programme, issued the following statement in response to the European Parliament’s vote today in favour of stronger control of the EU fleet.

“Today’s vote by the European Parliament reinforces the need to reverse the damage due to overfishing, such as decreased fish stocks and fewer fishing jobs.

“Annually, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is valued at an estimated €10 billion worldwide, and contributes substantially to overfishing and the depletion of marine resources. In EU ports, and for the EU fleet, there is currently no coherent or effective control.

“The elected members of the Parliament have expressed their support for MEP Raul Romeva’s report which championed a more cohesive control system. Responsibility for the adoption of a strong regulation now rests squarely with the Fisheries Council.

“However, to make the Common Fisheries Policy work and to ensure the long-term economic and social viability of EU fisheries, Member States must make a substantial reduction in the capacity of the EU fleet.  Too many boats chasing too few fish results in overfishing and is one of the underlying drivers of IUU fishing.”

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