European Commission Proposes Fisheries Fix To Council & Parliament

European Commission Proposes Fisheries Fix To Council & Parliament

Uta Bellion, director of the Pew Environment Group's European Marine Programme and coordinator of OCEAN2012, issued the following statement on the European Commission's proposal for reform of the European Union's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

“The Commission's proposal includes solid targets for the recovery of European fish stocks, including requiring that measures be taken in accordance with the best available scientific advice. This could bring an end to overfishing in EU waters and by its fleet internationally.
“However, the Commission's proposal falls short in the way it addresses overcapacity, which its own 2009 Green Paper identified as a key driver of overfishing. Instead of mandating a capacity reduction, it aims to decrease the EU fishing fleet by what amounts to the quasi-privatisation of EU fish resources. This type of approach has a mixed track record in other countries and would fail to provide compensation to the public for the loss of communal fishery resources or to reward those who fish in the most environmentally and socially responsible way.
“Fisheries ministers have failed to manage these critical resources since the CFP was established more than 30 years ago. Short-term economic interests have taken precedence as the Commission has struggled to address the concerns and issues outlined in its 2009 Green Paper. The European Parliament must work with the EU Council to end this trend and take the lead in delivering responsible and sustainable fisheries for Europe.”

Notes to editors

1. 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 coordinated, by the Pew Environment Group, the conservation arm of The Pew Charitable Trusts, a nongovernmental 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.

2. OCEAN2012 would like the CFP to:

  • Restore and maintain fish stocks above levels capable of producing maximum sustainable yield by 2015, in line with the Johannesburg agreement of 2002.
  • Give those who fish in the most environmentally and socially sustainable way preferential access to fish resources.
  • End environmentally harmful subsidies and allocate public funds only to activities that contribute to public goods and services.