Jellyfish and chips for you, Mr. EU Minister?

Press release - 20 December, 2002

Today, EU ministers congratulated themselves on reaching agreements for the continued plunder of the seas in the EU and abroad. Greenpeace said that the EU has failed dismally in its 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.

"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," said Helene Bours, Greenpeace Campaigner. "People got so caught up in hammering out the details of compromise after compromise that sound recommendations originally tabled were ignored."

"It's largely business as usual for politicians. Despite EU scientists'warnings that stocks of cod were endangered, calling for a ban on cod fishing, EU ministers have ignored them. Despite the overcapacity in the present EU fleet and recommendations that subsidies be eliminated for construction and transfer of fishing vessels, there will be continued aid for construction and modernisation of fishing vessels, and transfer to other countries.

"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."

Notes: Greenpeace has been pushing for the EU to adopt the following measures: 1) eliminate subsidies for the construction and modernisation of fishing vessels and the creation of joint ventures, 2) redirect these subsides towards: - promotion of selective and low-impact fisheries and, - reduction of fishing capacity through scrapping programmes. Greenpeace also considers as essential that subsidies for the construction and modernisation of fishing vessels (except to improve fishing gear selectivity) and the creation of joint ventures be eliminated and redirected fishing capacity reduction through a scrapping programme and promotion of selective and low-impact fisheries.