Europêche President, Javier Garat. (Photo Credit: EU)
Europêche and Pew disagree on Northwestern Europe fishing status
Friday, March 27, 2015, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
Europêche President Javier Garat deems The Pew Foundation’s latest report claiming high quota allocations and short termism is “hugely misleading.”
These issues, according to the NGO’s report called Turning the tide: Ending overfishing in Northwestern Europe, are what threaten the changes to end overfishing adopted at the last reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), as Garat stated.
Pew's report states that CFP measures would be successful if they were correctly implemented but forecasts the continuation of a 30-year history of overfishing due to the fact that European Union ministers have agreed to fishing limits in the region for 2015 that exceeded the scientific advice in the majority of cases.
In response to these statements, Europêche President pointed out that the number of stocks within safe biological limits has almost doubled in the last decade, which, he considers, “Pew fails to acknowledge.”
“In the North East Atlantic many fisheries are already on the way to being put on a sustainable footing and great progress has been made by the industry itself to ensure stocks are healthy and abundant," Garat stressed.
Moreover, he went on to highlight ‘overfishing’ now means stocks not yet at maximum in terms of sustainable yield and pointed out that in the North East Atlantic there are now 36 stocks being fished at MSY, compared to 27 last year and just two in 2003.
The association president highlighted that under the CFP Reform, scientific TAC advice is set within the policy framework to deliver MSY by 2015 and 2020 at the latest.
He also complained about the Pew organisation’s lack of awareness that the tide of overfishing and depleting turned 15 years ago, with fishing mortality across all the main stocks in the North East Atlantic being halved since 2000 and that for many years it has not expressed any interest in these fisheries, failing to acknowledge this natural variation.
“Europêche and the wider fishing industry welcome input from all factions to address and overcome challenges in achieving sustainable fisheries. However, by being selective with the facts to constantly portray fishing in the most negative light, real progress is not being made," Garat remarked.
And he concluded: “Misleading reports such as these only serve to push the sector into further disrepute at a time when our fishermen are making huge progress towards achieving sustainable fisheries."
Photo Courtesy of FIS Member European Commission - Fisheries and Maritime Affairs