Some catches in European waters could treble if managed sustainably
2016-11-16 11:26:49   copyfrom:    hits:

Dr Rainer Froese, senior scientist at GEOMAR (Photo: Geomar)EUROPEAN UNIONTuesday, November 15, 2016,23:50 (GMT +
 

Dr. Rainer Froese, senior scientist at GEOMAR. (Photo: Geomar)

 

EUROPEAN UNION
Tuesday, November 15, 2016, 23:50 (GMT + 9)

 

Fish catches in European waters could increase by 57 per cent if fish stocks were exploited sustainably and based on scientific advice, according to a new study released by Oceana.

The study, led by renowned fisheries expert Dr. Rainer Froese, at theGEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research (Kiel, Germany), provides the most comprehensive overview so far of overfishing in European fish stocks, analysing 397 stocks compared to around 150 monitored by the European Commission.

The new study shows that the status of the EU fisheries is far from being in good condition, with 85 per cent of stocks in an unhealthy state and only 12 per cent fulfilling the commitments of the Common Fisheries Policy.

"For the first time ever, we know the potential of fish recovery in Europe and it's good news. If we managed fish sustainably and based on science, catches can increase by 57 per cent or 5 million tonnes," said Lasse Gustavsson, executive director of Oceana in Europe.

"That's a lot of good and healthy food! It's about time we recover the abundance of European seas as more fish in the sea means more jobs in the fishing industry and more healthy fish on European dinner tables," Gustavsson pointed out.

Among the stocks that would benefit the most from proper management, scientists calculate potential increases of 300 per cent or greater for catches of haddock and cod in the North Sea, some herring stocks in the Celtic Seas, and sardine in the Cantabrian Sea.

"For the first time, all European stocks have been evaluated relative to the maximum sustainable yield they can produce, as required by the new Common Fisheries Policy. Our results show that catches can be substantially increased if stocks are rebuilt and properly managed," explained Dr. Rainer Froese, senior scientist at GEOMAR.

The results of the research are revealed one month before a final decision for 2017 fishing limits in the North East Atlantic, which will be negotiated between the EC and the 28 respective fisheries ministers during a meeting of the Council of the EU on December 12 and 13, in Brussels.

Oceana requests to leave the current short-term view behind and meet the legal requirement of recovering all fish species by 2020. 

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