WWF presented signatures to the EU Parliament. (Photo: WWF/E.Scagnetti)
150,000 Europeans demand healthy oceans, sustainable fishing practices
Friday, November 09, 2012, 22:40 (GMT + 9)
This week the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) presented 150,000 signatures to the European Parliament from citizens across Europe demanding healthy oceans and sustainable fishing practices.
According to the WWF, for decades, Europe’s Fisheries Ministers have made poor decisions that have sent Europe’s fish stocks and fishing industry into decline. Presently two out of three fish stocks in the European Union (EU) are depleted and jobs as well as income and profits are in decline.
“This 150,000 strong petition, together with a further 30,000 citizens who wrote to MEPs last month, shows how much people want to see a change in fisheries management in the EU. Fisheries Ministers have failed to deliver and it’s now up to the Parliament to make it happen,” said Roberto Ferrigno, Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) Project Coordinator, WWF European Policy Office.
For the first time since the creation of the CFP in 1983, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have a real opportunity to correct 30 years of mismanagement by Fisheries Ministers through a newly applied co-decision procedure, which gives the European Parliament equal decision-making power with Ministers, states the NGO.
“Faced with fierce lobbying from industrial fishing, Fisheries Ministers have already significantly watered down EU fisheries policy reform proposals’, added Ferrigno. “The danger is that MEPs may cave in too.”
Ulrike Rodust, MEP and Parliament’s Rapporteur for the CFP, who accepted the petition signatures on behalf of Parliament and faces a challenge to persuade her colleagues to vote for strong reform, said: “150,000 demanding more sustainable fisheries and healthy oceans is a huge sign that people want their representatives in the European Parliament to fight for an ambitious fisheries reform”.
WWF is calling on the European Parliament to lead the delivery of an ambitious reform. It argues that a vote for the status quo risks condemning Europe’s fishing communities to a bleak future. And insists that if managed sustainably, fisheries can recover and generate higher profits and better jobs.