Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Environmentalists fear EU will fail to save its fish
by Staff Writers
Luxembourg (AFP) June 12, 2012

The European Union, the world's third fishing power, came under sharp pressure from green groups and the EU executive to save the oceans from overfishing at key talks Tuesday to overhaul the sector.

Angry Greenpeace activists waving giant fish bones and banners reading "Stop Overfishing" delayed the start of a much-awaited ministerial meeting originally intended to reform fisheries policy but which may instead net a watered-down compromise.

As fish stocks decline, EU boats are sailing further and further afield to cast nets. "Europe needs clear goals to reduce its fishing fleet," said Maurice Losch of Greenpeace. "It fishes two to three times over sustainable levels."

Though scientists say 80 percent of Mediterranean stocks are overfished -- meaning fish cannot reproduce quickly enough -- fisheries ministers were mulling a so-called "general approach" deal scaling down ambitious reforms previously lobbied by the EU's executive in Brussels.

Among Brussels proposals was a ban on throwing fish caught by accident back into the sea -- a practice known as discards -- that environmentalists say wastes 1.3 million tonnes of fish a year.

"For me this is the heart of the problem," Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanki told the ministers. "There will be no reform without a discard ban."

Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavian nations favour forcing fishermen to bring all catches to port and deduct discards from their quotas. The discards can become fish flour, encouraging fishermen to adopt better practices while providing cheap food for the poor.

But one diplomat said Belgium, France, Spain and Portugal were likely to oppose the idea, highly unpopular with boats that go out to sea for days at a time, potentially stock-piling large quantities of unwanted fish.

"Negotiations will be tough, it will be a difficult day," said Spain's Agriculture Minister Miguel Arias Canete on arrival.

Also on the table is a bid to set so-called Maximum Sustainable Yields (MSY) -- the maximum amount of fish that can be caught without compromising its ability to reproduce -- by 2015.

But just days ahead of the Rio+20 environmental summit, some nations want fishing pressure reduced only progressively with the deadline pushed back to 2020 or beyond.

"It is important to set a firm date for introducing catch levels in line with what the fish stocks allow," Swedish minister Eskil Erlandsson said this week.

Damanaki said as ministers began the talks that the draft compromise text on the table "is rather reluctant to take rapid action" on discards.

"You seem to be choosing to go for a slower growth path," she said. "2020 is too far in the future, we have to act more swiftly on this."

According to a European Commission report last week, the situation is improving in Atlantic waters where overfished stocks have dropped from 94 percent in 2005 to 47 percent this year.

Environmentalists say the compromise stitched together by EU nations will be a missed opportunity to save the oceans.

"No fish means no fishing industry," said Xavier Pastor of the Oceana conservation group. "There can be no social and economic benefits if the environment, which provides the resource, is not prioritised."

Should the 27 ministers agree to this, they will "settle for a European fisheries policy of the lowest common denominator, without any ambition to achieve sustainable fisheries or save fishing jobs," said six NGOs -- BirdLife Europe, Greenpeace, Oceana, Ocean2012, Seas At Risk and WWF.

"The proposed deal would not stop the depletion of fish stocks for another decade," they said.


Related Links
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

No sea change for European fishing
Brussels (AFP) June 8, 2012
An ambitious reform of Europe's fishing sector to help replenish shrinking fish stocks appears likely to be watered down substantially by European Union nations, diplomats said Friday. Sources said ministers from the 27 EU nations meeting in Luxembourg on Tuesday were headed to reach a much-diluted compromise on proposals for far-reaching reform drafted by Europe's Fisheries Commissioner Mar ... read more

Japan to develop drones to monitor radiation

Study predicts imminent irreversible planetary collapse

Japan agency sorry for comparing radiation to wife

Lithuania launches regional nuclear safety watchdog

New circuits work in high radiation levels

Apple maps a path to mobile throne

How does Dolomite form

Amazon offer Cloud Player app for iPhone

Environmentalists fear EU will fail to save its fish

Sea temperatures less sensitive to CO2 13 million years ago

China submersible to plumb new ocean depths

Geoengineering could disrupt rainfall patterns

NASA Discovers Unprecedented Blooms of Ocean Plant Life

Will The Ice Age Strike Back

Secure, sustainable funding for Indigenous participation in Arctic Council a key priority

Expedition studies acid impacts on Arctic

China threatened by farmland contamination

Low-carbon farming takes root in Brazil's Amazon

EU says deal with China key to fight fake wine

Plant research funding crucial for the future

More than 70 feared dead in Afghan quakes

Afghan quakes kill at least three: officials

Dozens in hospital after 6.0 quake hits near Turkish resort

US strips seaweed from Japanese tsunami wreck

Madagascan community sets example of saving environment

Botswana, climate and tourism

Contentious Angolan troops end Guinea-Bissau pullout

Carbon traders eye Mozambican stoves

How infectious disease may have shaped human origins

Homo heidelbergensis was only slightly taller than the Neanderthal

Fossil discovery sheds new light on evolutionary history of higher primates

Monkey lip smacks provide new insights into the evolution of human speech

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement