Wednesday, July 6, 2011

EU targets sustainable fisheries by 2015

Charlie Dunmore in Reuters: The European Union's executive will propose plans to rescue the bloc's over-exploited fish stocks next week, with the aim of achieving sustainability by 2015, draft proposals seen by Reuters show. The plan is part of proposals to reform the EU's common fisheries policy, including 615 million euros ($887 million) a year in associated EU subsidies for the sector, which are due to be adopted by the European Commission on July 13.

The EU has the third largest fisheries sector in the world after China and Peru, and landed 6.4 million tonnes of fish worth 8.2 billion euros in 2007 -- the last year for which EU statistics were available.

With more than 80,000 EU-registered vessels competing to land Europe's dwindling fish stocks, rows over fishing quotas regularly break out between major fishing nations such as Spain, Denmark, France and Britain.

In an echo of the so called "cod wars" of the 1950s and 1970s, Iceland's bid to joint the European Union has been complicated by its decision to raise mackerel fishing quotas, putting it into conflict with Britain, Ireland and others.

The Commission has warned that three-quarters of EU fish stocks are currently exploited at unsustainable levels, and between 30 and 40 percent of the EU's fishing fleet is not making enough money to remain in business in the long-term...

The Icelandic trawler Áskell EA 48 (now the Birtingur NK) at Seyðisfjörður. Shot by Geronimo20, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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