"Fish or Cut Bait" says Greenpeace to EU Ministers

Press release - 20 December, 2002

After more than four days of extended talks on the future of EU fisheries, Greenpeace today said that any further compromises would make a nonsense of any sound fisheries management plan and would only jeopardize any remaining hope for the remaining fish stocks and the fishermen.

"What we are seeing are EU Ministers gutting fisheries management plans and refusing to face the fundamental issue: too many ships chasing fewer and fewer fish," said Helene Bours, Greenpeace campaigner. " An opportunity to redress decades of overexploitation is being lost through this political horsetrading going on right now behind closed doors."

Greenpeace believes that the solutions are at hand, but that the political will to put them in place is completely missing, as evidenced by the deadlock in negotiations.

"We are calling for the EU Ministers to wake up and swallow the bitter pill now and to build a future for the oceans and fishermen and coastal communities depending upon them," said Bours. "The alternative is to compromise so much that any fisheries management plan will be useless to save the cod and other threatened species in the North Sea. Unless the politicians act decisively, then no one else will. They will have to bear the blame and shame of their inaction for future generations."