Environmentalists believe that the European Union is putting at risk the sustainability of fish stocks by putting the interests of the fishing industry ahead of the health of its waters.
During the 2013 reform of the EU’s overarching fishing regulations, also known as the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), all member states committed to ending overfishing by 2015 – or by 2020 at the latest – to restore and protect all EU stocks in a sustainable way.
Yet, overfishing will continue this year in contravention of EU law.
The agreement reached in December demonstrates “that fisheries ministers cannot be entrusted with restoring healthy ocean ecosystems,” said Rebecca Hubbard, programme director at NGO Our Fish.
The group also denounced the fact that EU ministers have exceeded scientific advice six out of every ten times since the last EU’s fishing law reform.
“By agreeing to continue overfishing, EU fisheries ministers are refusing to pull their weight in addressing the climate and biodiversity crises,” Hubbard added.