The votes have changed recently in the European Parliament on the issue of commercial fishing. A fund that was once dedicated to the expansion of the European fishing industry is in the process of being redirected to conservation efforts and research. Recent studies and trends in the condition of the fish stocks have convinced parliament that expansion is no longer an option and that they need to save what they have left to ensure a healthy future for both the marine ecosystem and the jobs that rely on it. A portion of the 6.4 billion euro (8.7 billion U.S. dollars) has been slated to go towards conservation and research where as in the past, it had usually gone to causes that helped fishing expansion. Some of the research that led to this vote indicated that in many areas the harvesting of marine organisms was unsustainable. The article also compared the global expenditure on capacity enhancing subsidies versus research and conservation subsidies.
This is an interesting example of a large group of nations that occupy a relatively small area and have to share the resources that are available. It is impressive how well the EU coordinates it’s self and manages to come to policy decisions such as this. It seems that conflicting cultural values could play a role since some of these nations have such deep fishing culture and a significant amount of jobs rely on it. I am interested to see where this leads in the years to come and how management techniques will change when the call for conservation becomes louder (assuming it does).
Article source: https://www.nature.com/news/europe-debates-fisheries-funding-1.13999
Author: Colin Mckenzie