Green MEP supports EU Fish Fight

05 Jun 2011

Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London, is backing a Europe-wide campaign which seeks to end the wasteful and unethical practice of throwing dead fish back into the sea.

Under current EU rules, fishing fleets are forbidden from landing more than their catch quota. Often, the only option is for the unwanted fish to be thrown back into the sea. The vast majority of these discarded fish will die. The EU estimates that around half of the fish caught by fisherman in the North Sea are unnecessarily thrown back into the ocean dead.

Having secured over 700,000 supporters in the UK, the Fish Fight campaign, led by celebrity chef and campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, is now coming to Brussels to call upon the European Parliament to reform its fishing policy in order to ensure sustainable fishing for future generations and to end the shameful discarding of fish.

The Brussels campaign follows last week’s announcement from EU Fisheries Commissioner, Maria Damanaki that she will seek to clamp down on overfishing by preventing fisherman from taking advantage of poor data on dwindling stocks and ban the wasteful practice of discarding dead fish into the sea when quotas have been exceeded.

Speaking at the launch of the European campaign, Ms Lambert said: “The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is in urgent need of ambitious reform. Overfishing is a real danger which demands real change such as better management of fish stocks and an end to the damaging practice of discarding fish. It is also an international issue, stretching beyond the waters of the EU.

“Failure to take immediate action will jeopardise our seas for future generations and further threaten Europe’s wonderfully varied fisheries: we need to protect this biodiversity. An effective overhaul of the CFP will allow fish stocks to recover and help deliver a sustainable livelihood for fish communities for years to come.”

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