Undercurrent: 70,000 sign overfishing petition on eve of Baltic meeting


From Undercurrent News, October 9th 2017: 70,000 sign overfishing petition on eve of Baltic meeting

More than 70,000 EU citizens have signed a petition calling for an end to overfishing and the protection of EU waters on the eve of a Luxembourg conference where fisheries ministers will discuss 2018 Baltic Sea fishing limits.

“In just three days, over 70,000 people from across the EU have stepped forward to tell their governments to stop overfishing and safeguard the EU’s marine environment through the proper enforcement of already existing laws”, said Rebecca Hubbard, program director with Our Fish.

The Council of EU fisheries ministers set 2017 fishing limits for four out of ten Baltic fish stocks above scientific advice, including a staggering 352% increase on scientific advice for Western Baltic Cod, according to Our Fish.

“While Denmark and Germany have been pursuing overfishing of western Baltic cod under the excuse of avoiding social and economic impacts, most of the quota flows to destructive trawlers that cause the biggest environmental impact, while reaping higher profits than lower-impact coastal fishers,” said Hubbard.

“The reality is that Denmark and Germany can make fishing ecologically sustainable and economically fair during today’s Council meeting, by setting total allowable catches (TACs) at the the most cautious end of scientific advice, and changing the way quotas are allocated within their own countries.”

To rebuild stocks to healthy levels, western Baltic cod must be given a break from overexploitation, she added.

“The fishing industry has never had a better moment for reinventing itself as a sustainable industry — fuel prices are at an all time low, relative profits of the fishing industry are at an all time high, and evidence shows that the faster we end overfishing, the greater the economic benefits will be.”