EU Reforms Common Fisheries Policy

EU Reforms Common Fisheries Policy

Environmentalists and fish conservationists around the world are feeling hopeful this week due to the European Union finally passing policy that will reform the European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).   If the European member states agree to incorporate this policy, we should see a sizeable decrease in stock depletion of Mediterranean fish.  

The new proposal is a four-fold reform which:

  • ·                 Limits catches to the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) with the goal of bringing back overfished stock  
  • ·                 Prohibits discard of unwanted species, diminishing with the goal of eliminating wasteful bycatch practices
  • ·                 Incorporates scientific data in the process, ensuring thoughtful and statistical analysis is used to determine fish stock preservation.  
  • ·                 Shifts to a multi-year management of the fish stock

All 27 Member States will also have to approve this legislation but if they all adopt it, potentially all overfished stocks could be renewed to a sustainable level by 2020.   Unfortunately, and to be expected, France and Spain have already voiced their opposition.   They represent two of the top fishing states in the EU and have a history of challenging sustainable fishing practices that would threaten their fishing industries (https://www.english.rfi.fr/general/20100318-france-against-immediate-bluefin-tuna-trade-ban).

On a personal note, I find this very encouraging that “people power’ played such a significant role in EU’s action – chefs who care about what they serve, environmentalists who are dedicated to their cause, and ordinary people like you and me strongly influenced their decision to push this reform.

Please see these two articles for more details:

https://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2013/02/european-parliament-approves-amb.html?ref=hp      

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21352617

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