European Commission proposes changes to counting fish quotas
July 13, 2011 03:21 pm EDT
Environmental Issue, Conservation, Ecosystem, Economy, Business And Finance, Agriculture, Fishing Industry, Environmental Issue, Natural Resources, Oceans
The European Commission on Wednesday unveiled major proposals to reform the fishing industry and to stop fish that are caught from being wasted.
If adopted, the proposed changes to the EU Common Fisheries Policy would take effect in 2013 and give fishing fleets guaranteed quota shares of fish for at least 15 years. The current regulations have been in effect for the past 28 years, but are viewed by many as being a failure.
The current practice allows up to half the catch of some fish to be thrown back dead into the ocean without it counting against that fleet's quota. That practice has harmed the long-term sustainability of fishing by resulting in massive overfishing and it has resulted in the unnecessary depletion of some fish stocks.
That practice would be phased out and all fish caught would count against quotas. The idea is to encourage fishing fleets to target the fish they want rather than discard dead fish they do not want.
Some critics say it would be better to develop a market for the fish that are now accidentally caught and discarded.
European Commission officials said that around 75 percent of fish stocks off the EU’s shores are overfished. The problem comes from large fishing fleets, which are harming small fishing operations along coastal areas.
Over the next 18 months, the 27 EU member states must agree on the new proposals.
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