Wednesday, 2 December 2009


We are overfishing and killing our seas. You think the EU’s common fisheries policy is responsible? You should hear the enlightened views of some of those calling for its reform.

A public hearing on outline proposals to reform the policy has just taken place in the European Parliament. Consider these thoughts:

From the representative of the Italian fishing cooperatives: “We want to safeguard jobs. The policy of decommissioning fishing vessels has been a failure.”

What does that mean - more boats, more overfishing?

From the representative of fishermen in Sicily: Control of fishing policy should be devolved to local fishermen practising “self limitation taking into account the needs of the market.” Fish stocks should be scientifically assessed “in ways shared and approved by local fishermen."

Oh please, so when the price goes up let's forget about limitations, and whatever happened to objective, independent, impartial scientific advice?

Or best of all, most tragic of all, from the representative of fishermen’s trade unions in Portugal: “Protecting fish stocks should not be the main priority of the common fisheries policy. Instead the priorities should be: (a) to meet the needs of the market, and; (b) to maintain jobs.”

What does no fish stocks mean? No fishermen. No food. No future.


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