Frustration on European Common Fisheries Policy

Despite negotiating through the night to save fisheries in Europe it is becoming clear that certain European Union (EU) countries with large fishing industries, supported by the Irish Presidency, are using bullying tactics with members of the European Parliament (MEP) to push them into accepting a deal that will result in overfishing until 2020, and does little to support coastal communities.

-WWF (WWF) Spokesperson

WWF is calling on the European Parliament and fisheries ministers to agree on the fastest full recovery targets for fishery stocks, but warns that Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform may not be possible given an unwillingness to compromise by some who have a vested interest in the status quo. CFP is blamed for years of overfishing and poor policy decisions that have brought many European fish stocks to historic lows. WWF claims that:

Two thirds of assessed fish stocks are overfished. Iconic species like Mediterranean bluefin tuna and Atlantic cod have been overexploited for decades. Nine out of 10 stocks will be at unsustainable levels by 2022 if nothing happens.

Many believe the current review of CFP is an opportunity to turn the situation around and base future fisheries management decisions on the best available science, but there are many obstacles to the type of comprehensive reform WWF and others would like to see.

About Ret Talbot

Ret Talbot is a freelance writer who covers fisheries at the intersection of science and sustainability. His work has appeared in publications such as National Geographic, Mongabay, Discover Magazine, Ocean Geographic and Coral Magazine. He lives on the coast of Maine with his wife, scientific illustrator Karen Talbot.
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