The end of North Sea cod? Common Fisheries Policy to blame says WWF
Brussels, Belgium – The threatened complete closure of the North Sea cod fishery, which has prompted fears in Scotland and Denmark of the destruction of their ‘white fish’ fleet, is proof of the failure of the current Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)
, and the fault of past and present EU Fisheries Ministers, said WWF.
“The threat of a total ban on cod fishing in the North Sea is the result of the collective failure of the European Union’s Fisheries Ministers to agree a recovery plan for North Sea cod,” said Heike Vesper, of WWF’s Fisheries Campaign. “A recovery plan has been on the table for over a year. But nothing has been done. It is latest, and perhaps final, failure following twenty years of inadequate fisheries management. Now we see the consequences.”
“The long running annual circus of quota setting, and the inability of member states to find the political will to agree decisive action to save the overfished cod stocks has pushed North Sea cod, and the fishing communities that depend on it, to the edge of ruin,” said Heike Vesper.
“Let this be a warning to those countries that oppose reform of the Common Fisheries Policy,” she added. “Politicians should get out of setting annual quotas. Fishermen need long-term planning based on multi-annual managmeent plans, such as those proposed by the European Commisison, and recovery plans for all threatened fish stocks. Fishermen and other stakeholders also deserve a greater say in the management of fisheries.”
The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES)
is recommending to the European Commission a ban on North Sea cod and the closure of haddock and whiting fisheries, as cod is often caught by these fisheries.
WWF believes it is now up to Fisheries Ministers to agree radical reform of the CFP.
For further information:
Julian Scola, WWF Fisheries Campaign, tel.: +32 2 743 8806, or +32 486 117394 (mobile)