EU fish stocks continue to suffer

13 May 2013
WWF says EU fish stocks will take more than 100 years to recover. Photo: NEF

WWF says EU fish stocks will take more than 100 years to recover. Photo: NEF

The World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) new scientific analysis has revealed that the recovery of overfished European fish stocks could take more than 100 years under the current EU proposals.

WWF says that with two out of three fish stocks in European waters considered overfished, it is vital that accessible targets are set under Europe’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) to recover stocks over the next 10 years.

And the organisation says that proper implementation of these targets could result in the recovery of three quarters of overfished European stocks within the next 10 years.

But on the contrary, it says that Fisheries Ministers want to reduce fishing pressure gradually without any binding measures before 2020, with stock size and catches managed according to the principle of maximum sustainable yield (MSY).

WWF says that this will result in an uncertain century long recovery process.

Roberto Ferrigno, WWF’s CFP project coordinator, said: “No law can end overfishing in one fell swoop but Ministers appear to be actively sidelining stock recovery. For the sake of fishermen, coastal communities and the health of our oceans, Ministers must set targets for the fastest possible recovery. One hundred years plus is too long.”

“Real change is hanging by a thread. Failure to deliver now will be a massive setback in the fight against overfishing, threatening the health of our oceans as well as the future of the fishing industry,” Mr Ferrigno added.

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