12/02/2011 - The European Commission on Friday backed a funding policy that leaves largely intact its substantial support for the fishing industry, despite the commission’s own finding that subsidies were leading to destructive overfishing.
The commission, the executive arm of the European Union, approved the creation of a €6.5 billion, or $8.8 billion, European Maritime and Fisheries Fund to finance its Common Fisheries Policy from 2014 to 2020. Both the revised fisheries policy and its funding are due to be finalized in 2013 by a vote of the 27 E.U. member states.
Markus Knigge, an adviser to the Pew Environment Group and the Ocean2012 coalition of conservation organizations, said Europe did not even know how it was spending its subsidies, because some of the most important fishing states, including Spain and France, had failed to carry out fleet assessments.
According to E.U. rules, “member states are obliged to assess overcapacity and put their efforts into eliminating it,” he said. “But if you don’t know where the overcapacity is, and you modernize the fleets, you may end up actually increasing overcapacity.”
Read the full article, E.U. Proposal for Fishing Industry Support Raises Eyebrows, on The New York Times website.