Stop Bankrupting Our Oceans, says WWF Director General
Seventy five per cent of European fish stocks are overexploited and almost one third of fishing jobs in Europe have been lost in the last decade alone – the result of thirty years of mismanagement by fisheries ministers under Europe’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
The impending bankruptcy of our oceans, however, is one crisis that we can solve. Recent analysis shows that European fishermen could sustainably increase their catch by 40 per cent and generate €1.1 billion in additional income per year if fish stocks were allowed to recover.
Long-term prosperity for our fishing communities and a sustainable seafood supply are within our grasp. Across Europe, fishermen, processors, retailers and consumers alike want change.
The European Parliament now has the power to change fisheries policy and bring fisheries back from the brink – a rare and historic opportunity for Europe to do something useful.
Through this year’s once-in-a-decade reform of the CFP, sustainable fisheries management could finally be put in place. For everyone whose livelihood depends on a healthy marine environment, this is the only responsible outcome of reform.
The first step is for the whole Parliament to endorse the ambitious proposal for fisheries reform recently adopted by its Fisheries Committee.
Jim Leape, Director General, WWF
WWF position - Sustainable Management by 2015
Working alongside fishermen, fish processors, retailers and chefs, WWF has identified five key areas where change is needed to fix the EU’s broken Common Fisheries Policy:
- Healthy fish populations: ensure fish populations are above levels which can support maximum sustainable yield (BMSY) by 2015
- Effective planning and management: establish multi-annual plans by 2015 and fishery-based co-management groups involving all stakeholders
- Effective regionalisation: enhance cooperation at regional level on sustainable management of fish stocks
- Sustainable fisheries management: stop the wasteful practice of discarding unwanted fish while bringing unwanted catches close to zero by 2018 at the latest
- Smart incentives: limit subsidy payments to sustainable fishing practices