Brussels, 19 July 2021:- The Our Fish campaign presented a petition signed by 17,296 people to the European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius today in Brussels, calling on the EU to take urgent action to prevent and reverse the climate and nature crisis by ending destructive overfishing, and to support a just transition to ecosystem based fisheries management.The commissioner also received a colourful beach towel emblazoned with the words “Save the Ocean, Save the Climate, End Overfishing” .
“Before he takes off to the beach this summer, we thank Commissioner Sinkevičius for receiving and acknowledging the voices of 17,296 people from around Europe and hope he takes with him their crucial message to ‘Save the Ocean, Save the Climate, End Overfishing’”, said Rebecca Hubbard, Program Director for Our Fish.
“The ocean is protecting us from climate change by absorbing 90% of human-generated heat and sinking more carbon than forests, yet we continue to undermine it by overfishing and using fishing methods that destroy biodiversity and produce CO2 emissions. This is not consistent with the European Green Deal or the EU Biodiversity Strategy.
“The EU must immediately stop setting fishing limits above scientific advice and start monitoring and eliminating the full range of environmental and climate damage caused by EU fishing. A just transition to a more sustainable and resilient fishing fleet needs to be mapped out so that EU fishers and coastal communities have a future that is part of the solution to the nature and climate crisis”.
The EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 states that the European Commission will develop an ‘Action Plan to conserve fisheries resources and marine ecosystems’ in 2021. This Action Plan is under development (2) – NGOs are calling on the European Commission to ensure that it includes ecosystem and climate impact assessments and maps a path to eliminate the most destructive form of fishing, bottom trawling (3).
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