European fishermen call for reform of the Common Fisheries Policy
Nyborg, Denmark - Yesterday in Nyborg WWF held a hearing aimed at showing European Ministers the extent of support in Europe for substantial reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.
The results of the hearing were today presented by WWF to Commissioner Franz Fischler, Danish Fisheries Minister, Mariann Fischer Boel and German Fisheries Minister, Renate Künast at the informal meeting of the EU Agricultural Council.
The organizations that took part in the hearing have the backing of more than 14 million people, and their presence at the Informal Council was a challenge to the so-called "Friends of (Over)Fishing" Governments who oppose reform of Europe's failed fisheries policy.
The speakers calling for reform at the hearing included a Galician fisherman Francesco Amado, a Swedish fisherman Bo Hansson, a Danish fisherman Gunner Jakobsen, the Danish Fishermens' Association, the European Anglers Alliance representing 6 million anglers, Unilever (Europe's largest fish processor), WWF with some 5 million supporters globally, Birdlife International with some 2.5 million members, Seas At Risk (a federation of 15 national and international environmental organisations with about a million members), Dansk Fisk (producers association), the Coalition for Fair Fisheries Arrangements, Levende Hav, BFA-Fisheries (German Federal Scientific Research Institute for Fisheries).
Decision-makers sitting on the panel listening to the evidence were Morten Lautrup Larsen, Head of Denmark's Fisheries Directorate; Ian Hudghton MEP; and Maja Kirchener, Cabinet of Commissioner Fischler.
"There was clear agreement that business as usual is not an option. Reform is needed for economic, social and environmental reasons. The lack of sustainability of the CFP is a major economic as well as environmental problem. Fisheries subsidies need to be redirected to reduce the size of the fleet and to make sure that fisheries is sustainable in the future," said Kim Carstensen, WWF Denmark.
"Fishermen throughout Spain call for a reform that promotes sustainable fisheries. Many Spanish fishermen do not feel represented by their government and its alliance with other anti-reform governments in Europe," said Francisco Amado, Galician fisherman.
"Alongside all who have a stake in the marine environment and the seafood industry, we expect European governments to recognise their responsibilities to act now to give fisheries a future and to work for prompt agreement on an effective reform programme as set out in the commission's proposal," said Volker Kuntch, Unilever.
For more information:
Communications Manager, WWF European Fisheries Campaign
Mobile: +32 486 117 394
Communications Manager, WWF Denmark
Mobile: +45 20 33 7862