Brussels – As EU fisheries ministers convene in Brussels today to discuss the 2014 fish quotas, Greenpeace is calling on them to honour their commitment to end overfishing by 2015 by limiting catches to sustainable levels. Ministers will agree the 2014 fishing quotas for stocks in the North Sea, Northeast Atlantic and Black Sea.
The scientific advice points out that some fish stocks show early signs of recovery after the reduction of fishing pressure and the introduction of longer-term management plans. Given that such plans cover several years, they also minimise the annual horse-trading over quotas.
Greenpeace EU fisheries policy director Saskia Richartz said: “EU governments have renewed their commitment to end overfishing by 2015 as part of the recent fisheries reform. When coupled with a shift to low-impact fishing and reductions in the destructive power of the fleet, strict catch limits can help rebuild stocks and coastal communities. It is time to leave the old demons behind; it’s time to limit fishing to sustainable levels.”
While stocks of species like hake and North Sea plaice are showing signs of recovery, scientists have warned that overfishing is endangering a number of stocks in the Irish Sea, in waters west and northwest of Scotland, west and south of Ireland and parts of the Bay of Biscay. They recommended halting all fishing for cod and sole in the Irish Sea and for cod in waters west of Scotland. The cod population in the North Sea, on the other hand, is showing signs of recovery but fishing pressure is still higher than what is considered sustainable.
The Council is expected to conclude its work late this evening or early Wednesday morning.
Saskia Richartz - Greenpeace EU fisheries policy director: +32 (0) 495 290 028,
Greenpeace EU pressdesk: +32 (0)2 274 1911,
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