Oceana calls on EC to redouble efforts to recover fish stocks

16 Jun 2016

Oceana has called on the EU and its Member States to immediately redouble EU-wide efforts to curb this year’s slowdown in the number of fish stocks that are caught at sustainable levels.

This comes as the European Commission released figures on the status of fish socks in the European Union in its annual report on fishing opportunities.

“Less than four years are left to rebuild EU stocks and European Member States are lost at sea as to how to address endless overfishing and dwindling fish stocks in EU waters”, said Lasse Gustavsson, executive director of Oceana in Europe.

He added: “Oceana therefore calls on the EU to make their annual fishing quotas based strictly and solely on scientific advice and not through bargaining by individual Member States if we are to have any chance of reaching the EU’s MSY fishing targets by 2020.”

The figures showed that half of fish stocks in the North-East Atlantic are over-fished and all Mediterranean fish stocks are now over-fished.

Key commercial and consumer fish like cod in the Baltic Sea and North Sea, herring in the north-western waters, Norway lobster in south-western waters and hake in the Mediterrranean Sea, were also said to be below precautionary levels recommended by marine scientists.

The reported slowdown could be another blow to reaching the legally-binding fish stock levels set out in the in the European Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) by 2020.

Therefore, Oceana has urged the European Commission and Council of the European Union to redouble its efforts to recover fish stocks and wipe out overfishing.

It said that the next step now is to adopt fishing quotas for the North East Atlantic in 2017 that follow scientific advice and that are in line with the CFP objectives.

In the Mediterranean Sea, Oceana stresses additional emergency measures should be put in place immediately to address the decades-long practice of over-fishing that has led to dwindling stocks and a high biological collapse in key commercial fish.

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