Despite stark warnings from scientists that many fish stocks in the North Sea are close to collapse EU politicians did as they have always done over fish stocks - fudged the issue so both the fish and the fishermen will lose out eventually.
It's time to cut down on fish sticks: Greenpeace 'codheads' at Norway's royal palace to demand an end to overfishing.
After days of acrimonious debate EU ministers congratulated
themselves on reaching agreements this week at the EU fisheries
meeting. But the compromises will allow for the continued plunder
of the seas in the EU and abroad rather than the required tough
choices to safeguard stocks. The politicians have failed dismally
in their efforts to come up with a fisheries management policy that
would safeguard fisheries, instead preferring to negotiate
compromises that are weak and ineffective but politically safe.
Helene Bours, who was following the meeting for Greenpeace was
dismayed "The changes are merely cosmetic. The only ones who win
are the big fishing fleets who will sail away when the North Sea is
fished out leaving fishing communities stranded. People got so
caught up in hammering out the details of compromise after
compromise that sound recommendations originally tabled were
For many years the EU own scientists have underlined the fact
there are too many fishing boats chasing too few fish. But
politicians are hugely influenced by the fishing industry lobby. So
another opportunity to halt the dramatic decline in fish stocks
passes in weak ineffective compromises that are only aimed to save
the politicians, not the fish.
"In refusing to face up to the consequences of their decisions,
and in looking no further than their immediate waters - and
short-term interests - the ministers showed cowardice and dodged
their responsibilities," said Bours. "They will have to bear the
blame and the shame of their actions when the fish disappear."