Over 50pc of the fish annually consumed in Spain comes from abroad. (Photo: Stock File)
Spanish consumers rely on foreign fisheries resources
Monday, May 28, 2012, 00:40 (GMT + 9)
Spain exhausted its own fish supply for the current year on 24 May, so this Saturday it has started to depend on resources from the rest of the world, according to a study conducted by New Economics Foundation (NEF) and the Environmental Coalition OCEAN2012.
The report, titled ‘Depending on Fish' states which day of the year each country and Europe as a whole begins to depend on fish from non-Community waters.
For the whole of the European Union (EU), that reliance will begin on 6 July, OCEAN2012 and NEF document adds.
Furthermore, the entities suggest that if the Spanish ate only fish supplied by themselves at the consumption rate of the country at present, they would exhaust their resources and they will begin eating fish from other countries.
That is to say, over 50 per cent of the fish consumed per year in Spain comes from abroad.
The organization explains that the available data makes it possible to report overfishing.
Besides, even though it is considered that fishery resources are renewable, in Community waters fleets catch fish at a higher rate than it is recommended for resources to be renewed, the agency Europa Press reported.
According to the political coordinator for OCEAN2012, Miguel Ortega, "The EU has one of the largest and richest fishing grounds in the world but we have failed to manage them responsibly."
"To meet our growing appetite for fish, we overfish our stocks and export what has been overfished to other parts of the world," he added.
Therefore, both organizations are committed to "stop this trend" so as to ensure fisheries sustainability.
Meanwhile, Aniol Esteban, a member of NEF and the co-author of the report, pointed out that delaying fish stock restoration implies the loss of catches, income and employment.
In addition, about EUR 3,000 million are lost per year due to overfishing in the fishery grounds.
"The reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is a great opportunity to stop this loss of jobs and of money," Esteban highlighted.
Meanwhile, Ortega said that Spain needs to implement measures to restore stocks and produce more food, more jobs and foster a better economic situation.
"It is not acceptable to delay taking action," he clarified.
Meanwhile, Lidia Chaparro, OCEAN2012 circulation coordinator, stated the report emphasizes that those people who want sustainable seafood has to ensure that the politicians in charge agree and implement responsible fishing policies.
"Instead of importing increasing numbers of fish and of exporting overfishing, The EU CFP reform should ensure the sustainability of European fisheries," she concluded.
The organizations reported that Spain is one of the most dependent countries on fish within the EU. Portugal, whose date to enter the category ‘Depending on Fish’ is 30 March, comes behind. Other dates to join this category are 20 April for Germany, 30 April for Italy and 21 May for France.
By Analia Murias