(text from OCEAN2012)
The OCEAN2012 coalition has launched the second annual European Fish Week (June 4th – 12th 2011). More than 40 events throughout Europe and one in Africa will engage the public in calling for an effective reform of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). This collective action coincides with World Oceans Day on June 8 and the anticipated publication of the European Commission’s proposal for a reformed CFP in mid-July.
Most EU fish stocks are now overfished (see this post), many of them below safe biological limits. It was not always like this. In the recent past, stocks were healthier and fishing communities were wealthier, with more fish, boats, fishers and communities dependent on fisheries in Europe.
During this week of action, OCEAN2012 member groups are inviting EU citizens to witness the impact overfishing has had on the marine environment and learn how the EU’s CFP reform is an opportunity to go back to the future.
“During European Fish Week, we will be collecting stories and evidence of the past richness of our seas and fishing communities and telling fisheries minister that we want it back,” said Uta Bellion, director of the Pew Environment Group’s European Marine Programme and OCEAN2012 co-ordinator. “The story of fishing in Europe to date is a tragic tale of overexploitation of the seas that has reduced their abundance and productivity and weakened the fishing communities dependent on them. The current reform of the Common Fisheries Policy could reverse this trend and ensure a sustainable future for fishing communities across Europe.”