We are destroying our oceans: around 75-80 percent of the world’s fish stocks are already at dangerously low levels. And without urgent action, we may experience a future without fish.
The EU, which has the third largest fishing fleet on the planet, is beginning the process to reform their fisheries management system called the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Previous forms of this policy, which comes under a 3-year review period every ten years, have always fallen short of keeping fisheries and our oceans healthy. The situation is now critical and the EU must use this current review period to create an effective CFP that can protect. It may be their only chance.
Our activists brought this message to the doorstep of the ministers' CFP meeting in Galicia Spain - the heart of the Spanish fishing industry. They climbed up the iconic Tower of Hercules and unfurled a giant banner urging the EU to Save Our Seas the day before EU ministers arrived. Just nearby, over 200 representatives from the fishing industry, NGOs and EU governments were meeting to debate the future of the CFP in advance of the ministers' arrival. Crew on board our ship Arctic Sunrise have been keeping a watchful eye over the meeting where an expose report we launched has been causing quite a stir has caused quite a stir and copies of the exposé were in the hands of just about everyone.
Spain receives the bulk of EU fisheries subsidies and has a fishing fleet that represents one-fourth of the entire EU fishing capacity. If Spain is allowed to continue its destructive business as usual -- the EU has no chance of creating and implementing an effective CFP. Our report exposes Spain’s unfair share of EU subsidies and the destructive activities of some of the members of its fleet. The EU has already overfished its own waters and now their fishing vessels are plundering the waters from Africa to Antarctica of their fish for the European market. Here in Spain - we're shining a light on the Spanish fleet’s global reach and how EU taxpayers are being forced to subsidise Spain’s ocean destruction. And we are demanding that ministers create a new CFP based on science and transparency -- that includes targeted fleet reduction and the creation of marine reserves.