European Commission hails fish stocks revival boost

 

Fishing fleets could net millions in extra income thanks to a revival
in stocks of key species, the European Commission (EC) said today.

Twenty fish stocks in European Union (EU) waters are now considered to be within sustainable fishing limits, compared with only five in 2009, fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki said.

The figures are rare good news after years in which fishermen have faced massive catch reductions in the name of conservation and on the promise of plenty tomorrow.

The EC has blamed successive years of enforced cuts on fleets routinely breaching catch quotas and delaying stock recovery.

Today, however, ahead of EU fisheries reform talks next week, Mrs Damanaki declared: "We are now seeing some improvements towards ending overfishing, but we need to go the extra mile and adopt Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform if we want to guarantee these improvements in the long term."

A commission "consultation document" looking at fishing opportunities for next year says efforts to halt overfishing are starting to work, thanks to reduced annual catch quotas in recent years.

The effectiveness of quota cuts allowed increases in the total allowable catch (TAC) for some stocks this year, says the report - with an estimated extra income for the fishing industry of 135 million euro (£109 million).

An EC statement said: "The figures show that following scientific advice when setting TACs helps fish stocks rebuild.

"As a result, fishermen are rewarded with higher catches and higher income, and the environmental impact of fishing is less."

It said the revival of stocks and the resulting income boost reinforced the need to reform the CFP to build on the benefits - because sticking to annual TAC limits alone would not be enough.

"Long-term management, a fully science-based approach and eliminating catastrophic practices such as discarding (dumping non-quota stocks caught in nets accidentally) are needed, as spelled out in the Commission proposals on CFP reform," the document added.

The EC says the scientific advice on which annual catch cuts are based is improving, with more and more stocks being assessed more accurately on the basis of the science.

The upbeat note came as lobby groups mounted a campaign against what they see as compromise proposals on EU fishing policy.

Birdlife Europe, Greenpeace, OCEAN2012, Oceana, Seas At Risk and WWF issued a joint statement warning that a proposed deal would not stop the depletion of fish stocks for another decade.

They said fisheries ministers were preparing to settle for a "lowest common denominator" deal "without any ambition to achieve sustainable fisheries or save fishing jobs".

The statement said: "Horse-trading to accommodate all member states has resulted in a significant weakening of the commission's reform proposal compared with July 2011.

"The required recovery of fish stocks by 2015 has been further delayed and the goal posts shifted.

"Ministers are only willing to commit to reduce fishing pressure progressively which would allow overfishing to continue for the next decade."

The groups claim only a quarter of fish stocks in EU waters are at sustainable levels.

"A 31 per cent decrease in fishing jobs since 2002 shows the bleakness of the European fisheries crisis which can only be remedied by a root-and-branch reform," the statement added.

PA

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Sport
football
Life and Style
Agretti is often compared to its relative, samphire, though is closer in taste to spinach
food + drink
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
people
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
i100
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?