Eu Fisheries

Recovery for Europe’s fisheries, or just wishful thinking?

Posted by Willie — 4 July 2012 at 11:51am - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: © David Sandison / Greenpeace

Basic first aid tells you the most important thing to do is not cause any more harm: don’t make things worse. That makes sense, of course, but if you happen upon someone lying bleeding on the pavement, simply not kicking them on the way past isn’t really a good enough reaction.

I’ve been struggling for analogies to use, ways to try and explain just what is so bad about the recent EU Council ‘agreement’ on fish stocks.

Will the UK government be a progressive voice on fisheries?

Posted by Ariana Densham — 13 July 2011 at 3:50pm - Comments
Fish in a net
All rights reserved. Credit: Alex Hofford / Greenpeace
Tonight Greenpeace and partners outline proposals for the CFP at the event The Future of EU Fisheries

The day those of us in fish world have been waiting for is upon us. Today the European Commission officially launched its proposals for a new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and finally we'll find out if Europe intends to meet its targets to recover our decimated fish stocks, or bend to the same political pressures of its 40 year history and failing put the environment first.

Bluefin trade ban bandwagon

Posted by Willie — 8 February 2010 at 8:30pm - Comments

It’s like déjà vu, but hopefully this time it will be for real.

Several months ago the UK jumped eagerly on France ’s coat-tails by announcing it’s support for a trade ban on bluefin. Amidst the ups and downs since then our friends at Defra have been noticeably unforthcoming of late. Getting any straight answer out of them on bluefin was like setting up a black pudding factory on Mount Everest. That’s why we encouraged supporters to make sure Defra did the right thing and publicly supported a trade ban.

Finally, France supports trade ban on bluefin tuna

Posted by Willie — 4 February 2010 at 12:17pm - Comments

At last, France has officially announced support for an international trade ban on Atlantic bluefin. This is great news. It means that 23 out of the 27 EU countries now support the species being protected by CITES (the organisation which regulates trade in endangered species). It also means there is no longer any effective block to stop the EU reaching a common position (at a previous vote, it had been blocked by the Mediterranean countries).

Two of the main fishing nations, Italy and France are supporting the trade ban, and Italy has already declared it is suspending its own fishery. That is pretty momentous. It's as if the proverbial turkeys have just voted for Christmas by a landslide.

Are Italy and France backing down, and backing bluefin?

Posted by Willie — 31 January 2010 at 7:33pm - Comments

Here’s a bit of hot gossip, that I am typing from Paris , where I’m with a gaggle of Greenpeace campaigners at a summit on sustainable seafood.

It seems that something is stirring in the Mediterranean . Bluefin followers will be familiar with the ‘will-they/won’t-they?’ saga that surrounds the EU countries and supporting and international ban on Atlantic bluefin.

What happened to your promise to protect bluefin, M Sarkozy?

Posted by jossc — 23 September 2009 at 3:28pm - Comments

First of all, apologies to any non-French speakers watching this video, because it's not going to make any sense. So why do I want you to see it? Well, it's more just as supporting evidence (see the transcript below), because this is the statement made by French President Nicolas Sarkozy on 16 July, in which he promised "complete French support regarding the listing of bluefin tuna to the international wild species convention, in order to ban any trade in this fish".

Bluefin-Eating Surrender Monkeys?

Posted by Willie — 21 September 2009 at 7:13pm - Comments

It's de rigueur in some quarters to dismiss France jokingly, as the Simpsons and some US political-types famously have done in the past. But the news today from Brussels suggests that the French government have made an embarrassing volte-face on bluefin tuna.

Corals in deep trouble

Posted by Willie — 24 March 2009 at 11:28am - Comments

Rainbow Warrior documenting cold coral formations off the Norwegian coast, March 2009

Rainbow Warrior documenting cold coral formations off the Norwegian coast

To most people, the word 'coral' conjures up images of clear, shallow tropical seas, glistening white sandy beaches beneath a blazing sun, and an array of colourful fish that would resemble the cast of Finding Nemo. Sun-drenched places like the Great Barrier Reef in Australia immediately spring to mind.

A tale of two fishies

Posted by jossc — 25 November 2008 at 1:07pm - Comments

Mediterranean bluefin tuna - kings of the ocean

Imagine you were in a car that was rolling quickly towards the edge of a cliff. The sensible thing to do would be to slam on the brakes as much as possible, knowing that it will take some time to stop, even with your best efforts and your foot to the floor. Another option would be just to take your feet off the pedals and hope it slows down in time. If it was an EU fisheries regulator who found themselves at the wheel, though, chances are they'd consult widely to ensure that they had the best advice possible on how to get out of the situation, and then totally ignore it...

All the available data shows that many fisheries around the world are in serious decline. Some face complete collapse (hence the 'falling off a cliff' analogy) unless drastic action is taken to end over-fishing and give threatened stocks time to recover. This can only happen by setting aside large areas of ocean as marine reserves, off-limits to all forms of fishing. But sadly the fishing industry itself still seems incapable of taking any meaningful steps to address the problem.

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