Cod – no cause for celebration just yet

Posted by Willie — 7 July 2009 at 1:08pm - Comments

Seafish and the fishing industry are cod-a-hoop recently, because it seems that cod stocks are doing better. You may have missed the news, but the story is that the EU's scientific advice suggests that stocks of North Sea cod have increased 5% in the last year, and are up a whopping 40% from the average in 2005-2008.

Sounds like great news. And of course any increase in a rampantly-overfished population of animals is to be welcomed. But it needs to be set in context.

CFP 'pantomime farce' continues as cod quota is raised again

Posted by Willie — 19 December 2008 at 3:40pm - Comments

In many ways the bluster from Europe's fisheries ministers the week before Christmas is as predictable as a pantomime script, if only it were meant to be funny! They all trumpet a 'fair deal' and talk about 'striking a balance', and most hilariously, 'respecting the science'. But in reality short-term political expediency continues to trump scientific reality. Today the EU announced its fishing quotas for 2009, as usual doing their best to ignore their own scientists' recommendations. Instead they agreed to increase quotas for endangered North Sea cod by 30 per cent, after the scientists had recommended that to be safe they shouldn't be catching any.

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.

'Green' grocer caught red-handed with redlist fish

Posted by jossc — 7 November 2008 at 12:55pm - Comments

Loblaws: caught red-handed selling unsustainable 'red-list' fish

Greenpeace Canada exposed the country's largest grocery store chain's claims to be a 'green' grocer as false this week, after an investigation into how they source their seafood. Loblaws, whose stores account for nearly a third of all groceries sold in Canada, were found to be selling 14 of the 15 species on Greenpeace's 'Redlist' - made up of those species that are most destructively fished or farmed.

To get 'redlisted' a species must be in serious trouble, usually defined as facing a 90% reduction in numbers. Currently top of the Canadian list are Atlantic bluefin tuna, Atlantic cod, sharks, skate, shrimp and orange roughy - all of which are sold by Loblaws.

Seafood giants join forces to combat pirate fishing in the Barents Sea

Posted by jossc — 31 May 2007 at 3:06pm - Comments

September 2005: Greenpeace activists disrupt the IUU fishing activities of the factory trawler 'Murtosa' in the Barents Sea

September 2005: Greenpeace activists disrupt the IUU fishing activities of the factory trawler 'Murtosa' in the Barents Sea

If you've been following our oceans campaign over the past year or so, you'll know that many fish stocks around the world are in a dangerously depleted state. And while we've had some success here in the UK persuading major retail chains to take a responsible attitude about where the seafood they sell comes from, far too many of the fish we eat still come from unsustainable sources - either from destructive and wasteful fishing methods like beam trawling, or from illegal 'pirate' fishing.

Granite City greetings

Posted by jossc — 17 May 2007 at 10:41am - Comments

Follow the crew of the Arctic Sunrise on their campaign for Marine Reserves in our North Sea Tour blog

Bottlenose dolphinSince Tuesday morning, we've been docked in Aberdeen. The Arctic Sunrise is dwarfed amidst some of the other huge ships here. As we waited on the pilot to take us in, we had small groups of noisy arctic terns bouncing around the ship. Then, on our way into the harbour, just at the breakwater, we were treated to a pod of about seven bottlenose dolphins, lazily feeding (with an occasional show-off jump).

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