Landmark victory for fish fighters across Europe

arglesock says… Most people don’t seem to have known about fisheries management until very recently. Now, public opinion is behind the Fish Fight.

Green Living London


The European Parliament voted on Wednesday to ban the wasteful practice of throwing away fish at sea in a victory for green groups after more than two years of campaigning.

There are hopes that these changes to the controversial EU Common Fisheries Policy can become law by next year. MEPs voted for the reform package by 502 votes to 137 after being bombarded with complaints, following a series of high-profile campaigns from environmentalists, fishermen and celebrity chefs.

Campaigners are angry that EU boats in the North Sea have to throw away up to half of what they catch to stay within their quotas. The reforms package include:

  • Rebuilding fish stocks to sustainable levels
  • Setting catch limits in line with the best scientific advice
  • Banning discards
  • Priority access to those who fish in environmentally beneficial ways
  • Tightening the rules on how EU vessels fish in distant waters.

“This is really excellent news,” said the chef…

View original post 132 more words

About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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5 Responses to Landmark victory for fish fighters across Europe

  1. EqFe says:

    What will be done with the fish caught in excess of quotas? I think that’s the most important issue at play. If the fisherman profit in anyway whatsoever, then quotas are meaningless.

  2. argylesock says:

    They would be, yes. I think that problem is to be avoided by allowing the whole catch to be landed and sold, but limted by more sensible quotas, eg not by species but by location and time.

  3. EqFe says:

    I can’t help but think that this will ensure the extinction of the catch who’s quota is reached first.

    • argylesock says:

      How so? As I understand it, a quota will say something like, ‘Licensed to use this kind of net, in this place, for this many days per month, at this time of year.’ With suitable decisions about all the which-one parts of that, and without a target species, I don’t see that leading to any extinctions. Catches of rare species will naturally be rare.

      • EqFe says:

        Perhaps extinction was the wrong word, perhaps, like the Newfoundland Cod the right term was virtual exstinctin. Look at the current situation. Scientist put a quota on a particular species. That quota is rapidly met. Fisherman continue to fish, using whatever techniques nets etc. continue to catch that species. They are then disposed of under the old system, or sold under the proposal. Clearly that species is overfished.
        Okay now we go to some other system. We already know from past experience that fishing will not halt just because one or more species is overfished in a given year because the scientist got the “new” quota wrong.
        Quotas to prevent overfishing can only work if they are accurately devised and enforced and by that I mean, fishing stops when the quota is met, like tuna, or crab fishing in US waters. As much as disposal of fish caught in excess of quota was wasteful, it gave fisherman a small incentive not to overfish. I understand that the situation with Tuna and crab is somewhat unique in that there is little or no landing of other species, nonetheless the system is close to foolproof, whie this seems like it’s a disaster waiting to happen.

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