Efforts to end overfishing in the EU continue, on the sidelines of an EU Fisheries Ministers gathering in Brussels to set fishing levels for the North East Atlantic for 2020, an action supported by more than half a million signatures from EU citizens.
Accordingly, overfishing is required to end by 2020 under the Common Fisheries Policy. As 1 billion people depend on fish for protein every day, mitigating the loss of 33% of global fish stocks to overexploitation is an urgent task, according to experts at the first-ever UN Trade Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, on 10 September.
Supporting the concept of ending overfishing, the Ocean Avengers, a team of superheroes embodying the ocean, climate, law, science and the will of EU citizens, attended the handover, urging Commissioner Sinkevičius to pass the message “Ending overfishing IS Climate Action” to AGRIFISH ministers, and being in line with the law by implementing fishing limits within scientific advice, to reduce one of the biggest threats to the ocean and its capacity to support life on the planet.
Our Fish Programme Director Rebecca Hubbard commented that in this meeting Ministers have the chance to help meet the aspirations of the European Green Deal, which highlights that member states should give extra attention to delivering on SDG 2020 goals, and on implementation of the EU Common Fisheries Policy.
This week, EU fisheries ministers could go from zero to superhero by recognising the demands of half a million EU citizens to end overfishing. This is their chance to take urgent and effective climate action to protect the ocean – our greatest ally against climate change
… Rebecca Hubbard added.
Gonçalo Carvalho, Executive Coordinator of Sciaena additionally stated that the EU fisheries minister should support Commissioner Sinkevičius, following the most cautious scientific advice when setting fishing limits for 2020.
It is also reported that the Annual EU AGRIFISH Council meetings were recently investigated by the EU Ombudsman and found to be lacking in transparency; Thus, Flaminia Tacconi, at ClientEarth commented that from 2020 this should change, asking for a respect on the law and the fishing limits, in favour of the EU citizens and not just a few in the fishing industry.
The 2020 deadline to end overfishing is not an aspirational deadline to be missed and forgotten about – breaking the law has serious consequences.