Thursday, December 19, 2019

Overfishing Permitted

European member states will fail to meet a legal obligation to end overfishing by 2020.

Environmental campaigners said nations had put the interests of the fishing industry ahead of the health of their waters, with some lawyers claiming the decision could face legal action. Campaigners said this year’s negotiations “should have been monumental”, but instead claimed “ministers failed to live up to their promises”.
The policy changes meant by 2020 every quota should have met scientifically-agreed limits, set to ensure fish populations can recover, known as maximum sustainable yields. This was not the case.

“The limits set by ministers suggest that progress to end overfishing has stalled or even reversed, a disappointing outcome for the year when overfishing was supposed to become a thing of the past,” said Andrew Clayton of The Pew Charitable Trusts.
ClientEarth fisheries lawyer, Nick Goetschalckx explained, “In the current state of environmental emergency, we cannot continue to let political horse-trading turn laws and deadlines into a farce by finding ways around them as soon as they bite.”
Rebecca Howard of Our Fish argued the quotas demonstrate “a shocking ignorance of the global biodiversity and climate crisis” and accused fisheries ministers of spending six years “kicking the can down the road”.

“Today’s appalling outcome demonstrates that they cannot be entrusted with restoring healthy ocean ecosystems and that they are incapable of doing their bit to achieve EU ambitions for combating climate change,” Ms Howard said. “Ending overfishing would be a rapid, achievable act that would bolster the health of the ocean in the face of the climate crisis, securing futures for coastal communities as well as being an affirmative firm response to calls from EU citizens for climate action.”
Greenpeace UK oceans campaigner Chris Thorne said the EU is adding to the “immense pressures” placed on our oceans by continuing to allow overfishing, adding: “The EU must set fishing quotas at sustainable levels, in line with scientific advice. The UK government must also do more to safeguard the health of our oceans, by fully protecting at least 30 per cent of domestic the waters around the uk, and pushing for a strong Global Ocean Treaty next year.”

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