Europe - 9 out of 10 fish stocks threatened

A cage full of bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean. Overfishing has driven the magnificent species close to commercial extinction.

 

The European Union governs the largest maritime zone in the world and, shamefully, one of the most degraded on the planet. After four decades of EU fisheries policies, nine out of ten fish stocks are overfished. Current fisheries management fails to protect and preserve both marine biodiversity and the people who depend on it.

Despite its many reforms, the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) has failed to ensure environmentally and economically sustainable fisheries. This is largely the result of bad political decision-making that favours the short-term economic interests of the fishing industry over science-based governance and sustainability, problems highlighted in a reflection paper prepared for the European Commission.

The ongoing reform of the CFP presents the EU with a once-in-a-decade opportunity, and possibly a last chance, to reverse these trends. It must stop overfishing, recover the current poor state of fish populations to healthy levels and complete the establishment of national networks of marine reserves. 

Greenpeace calls on all EU governments to:

  • reduce their excessive fishing fleet capacity and end destructive and wasteful fishing practices;
  • increase the area that is protected as marine reserves to 40%;
  • make scientifically recommended catch levels a minimum requirement;
  • ensure transparency in decision-making and data-handling as well as traceability for seafood products.

Failing fisheries come at a high price. The World Bank recently calculated that failing fisheries management is costing the world around $50 billion annually and the UN Green Economy report warns that – under business as usual scenarios – the world’s fisheries will have been reduced to a third of their 1970’s levels by 2050. It therefore urges policy makers to accelerate investments in the restoration of ecosystems.

Without fish there can be no fishing. Many fishermen already operate at a loss and more than half the seafood on the European market has to be imported. The CFP reform may be our last chance to protect our seas so future generations can enjoy their benefits.

The latest updates

 

The Price of Plunder

Publication | February 27, 2012 at 15:51

The fundamental problem facing Europe’s fishing industry is overcapacity: its fleet is catching far more than current fish stocks can bear. Under the broken governance of the European Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), Europe’s waters have been...

Danish EU presidency - Greenpeace priorities for the environment

Publication | January 9, 2012 at 12:39

Denmark will take the helm of the Council of the European Union from January 2012 at a crucial time for the future of Europe and its citizens. As government cuts start to bite and the debt and Euro-zone crises unfold, Europeans continue to be...

Preliminary Reaction to the Commission’s proposal for a future EU Maritime and...

Publication | December 9, 2011 at 16:50

A joint reaction by seven green NGOs to the European Commission’s proposal for a future EU Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

What we think of the 2011 CFP reform proposal

Publication | November 1, 2011 at 14:52

This document gives in 14 pages Greenpeace's reaction to the European Commission's proposed Common Fisheries Policy reform.

Until the very last fish

Publication | October 17, 2011 at 9:00

In this issue of the Ocean Inquirer, we show how the CFP is financially supporting the ecological crime of deep sea bottom trawling, with a spotlight on France and Spain, the two biggest players in this destructive and economically unviable fishery.

16 - 20 of 65 results.

Categories