New Coalition to Make Big Splash for Healthy European Fisheries

New Coalition to Make Big Splash for Healthy European Fisheries

OCEAN2012, a new coalition dedicated to transforming European fisheries policy to prevent over-fishing and enhance human well-being was launched yesterday. OCEAN2012 was founded by the Coalition for Fair Fisheries Arrangements, the Fisheries Secretariat, nef (new economics foundation), the Pew Environment Group and Seas At Risk.

"Commissioner Borg has called for a wholesale fundamental reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. OCEAN2012 is a response to that call," said Uta Bellion, director of the Pew Environment Group's European Marine Programme and OCEAN2012 Co-ordinator. "Continuous overfishing has resulted in less productive fisheries with a loss of jobs and livelihoods. Fewer and smaller fish are being caught with greater effort required to find them. The simple fact is that without fish there can be no fishing."

"Intensive fishing in European waters has led to dramatic declines in fish populations, for example 93 percent of North Sea cod are caught before they can even spawn."

In 2007, the EU Court of Auditors judged that the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) had failed to achieve its central objective of the sustainable exploitation of living aquatic resources. The Commission's Green Paper on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy published on April 21st launched a public consultation that will last until December 31st this year.

"EU fish and marine habitats belong to all Europeans, so it is vital they seize the opportunity of contributing to the reform of the CFP," said Bellion. "As a coalition, OCEAN2012 is open to all organisations who share the vision of healthy oceans where abundant fish and wildlife contribute to human well-being."

OCEAN2012 is committed to shaping a CFP that:

  • Enshrines environmental sustainability as the over-arching principle, without which economic and social sustainability is unobtainable;
  • Reduces the fleet based on environmental and social criteria;
  • Makes public funding available to smooth the transition to more sustainable fisheries;
  • Makes access to fisheries resources and public aid for fishing conditional on environmental and social factors;
  • Gives the public access to fisheries data from Member States, such as catches, fleet figures and compliance;
  • Commits decision makers to following scientific advice.

To learn more visit Ocean 2012's Web site.