Tag Archive for 'Common Fisheries Policy'
Greetings from Doha, Qatar, where some 120 countries, so far, are meeting to discuss the protection of the world’s endangered species.
This is the beginning of discussions which will decide the fate of 42 proposals over the next two weeks to restrict trade in species ranging from the polar bear to Mexican plants used in lipstick and, via the ever controversial big cats and ivory, to this year’s most controversial species, those caught in commercial fisheries, including several species of shark and the Atlantic bluefin tuna.
As expected, the bluefin is causing the most excitement, particularly in Japan, where some 80 per cent of the journalists booked to be here are from. Japan has a delegation of more than 50.
They have been busy. They have been placing stories saying that the attempt to ban international trade in the bluefin is an attack on the Japanese custom of eating fish. Well, it isn’t, it about the failure of soft management for a species that goes for a lot of hard currency.
They have been placing stories to worry the West Africans, saying that the Spanish and French purse seine fleets which fish in the Mediterranean will come to their waters if trade is banned, ignoring the fact that these are not long-distance, ocean-going vessels and it is up to the West Africans who they allow to fish in their waters, anyway. It looks as if Japan is panicking.
There have been indications that the secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species is increasingly getting fed up with the allegations from fishing countries that CITES is no place to regulate commercial fish species(CITES already regulates trade in 24,000 plant species and 4,000 animals and has done since 1975.)
Willem Wijnstekers, its secretary general, told the opening plenary that he found comments that CITES should not get involved in regulating bluefin “really worrying” and he totally disagreed with that comment. The Secretariat is increasingly calling the tune. It has commissioned a review of whether the EU’s complicated and Machiavellian proposal endorsing an Appendix 1 listing of bluefin - but placing lots of conditions on it - is legal. That is expected in the next couple of days.
Meanwhile, we can expect Japan to become shriller still in defense of the disgracefully-managed trade in its favorite sushi.
With the future of the bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic likely to be decided in Brussels this week, supporters of The End of the Line’s campaign to reform the management of Europe’s fisheries have written to José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission asking him to save the tuna from commercial extinction.
As The Independent reported at the weekend there are moves by Japan and DG Mare, the marine and fisheries directorate of the European Commission, to undermine the ban on international trade in bluefin until stocks recover that has been proposed by France, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Poland.
We, The End of the Line campaign, are calling on President Barroso to show leadership. The letter we have sent is below and we shall add any more prominent signatures as they come in.
19 July 2009
Dear President Barroso
You may be aware that the film “The End of the Line” based on the book by British journalist and author, Charles Clover, has had a tremendous impact in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe following its general release in June this year.
The story is a simple one - the massive public policy failure of fisheries policies around the world and, in particular, highlighting the EU’s own lamentable Common Fisheries Policy. The film describes graphically the plight of the Atlantic bluefin tuna, a magnificent animal now sadly fished almost to the brink of extinction.
The film has alerted the public to the tragedy of the oceans. Your Commission has a chance to show the European public that you are able to take corrective action. On Wednesday 9th September, the Commission is expected to be presented with a choice on the fate of the bluefin tuna.
On the one side, the fate of this animal can continue to rest with the Regional Fisheries Management Organisation, ICCAT. On past evidence this will be a disaster.
The alternative is the option recently proposed by the Government of Monaco and supported inter alia by various Commission services (although not DG MARE apparently) as well as by several Member States.
This would involve the listing of the tuna as an endangered species under Appendix 1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, CITES.
The choice calls for your leadership, Mr President. You will be acutely aware that the European public would be outraged if an emblematic species like the bluefin tuna would go extinct on your watch.
We call on you and your Commission to do the right thing and give the tuna the absolute protection it deserves.
Colin and Livia Firth
Richard E Grant
Baron Eric De Rothschild
Prince Urbano Barberini
Earlier this month, I went to Brussels for a private screening of our film, The End of the Line, and debated the sad state of Europe’s fisheries with Joe Borg, the Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
Charles Clover, Tony Long of WWF and Joe Borg, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, debate Europe’s fisheries policy after a WWF screening of The End of the Line
The screening had been organised by WWF for members of the European Commission and country representatives ahead of the publication of the Green Paper on the reform of Europe’s fisheries policy last week.
I was surprised and impressed by two things. First, the openness and dedication with which Commissioner Borg trotted along and watched an 82-minute film and debated its conclusions, especially since these are even more damning about Europe’s management of its fish stocks than the Commission’s own Green Paper – which admits that 90 per cent of Europe’s fish stocks are overfished.
Continue reading ‘Nice reforms Mr Borg, but aren’t you missing something?’
Europe’s fishing policy has failed and nearly nine tenths of its fish stocks are overfished, the European Commission has admitted.
The Commission published a Green Paper proposing radical reforms of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and began an open debate on the proposed measures which will last until the end of this year.
Among the proposals are:
- A ban on the “discarding” of under-sized and unmarketable fish at sea.
- Making the ecological sustainability of fish stocks the paramount objective of European policy, on which economic viability depends, rather than a factor to be weighed off against the survival of the fishing industry, as it is at present.
- Devolving decisions on the management of fisheries closer to the people they affect.
Continue reading ‘EU admits nine tenths of fish stocks are overfished’