ACTOR MIGUEL ÁNGEL SILVESTRE JOINS OCEANA IN WARNING OVER LACK OF EU FISHERIES MANAGEMENT Published: 21 March, 2012
The red mullet, a non-managed species. ©OCEANA/ S. Gosálvez
Oceana, with the support of actor Miguel Ángel Silvestre, has published a report denouncing the lack of management measures for 82% of fish species exploited by the European fleet.
The study shows that 686 fish species, of which many are common to European consumers, are caught without the minimum management measures necessary to ensure the future of the stock and calls for an increase in the number of species managed.
Species as common as mullet, cuttlefish, shrimp, octopus and croaker are among the 686 species for which there are currently no management measures specifying limits on catches and fishing effort. This equates to 31% of the total catch and 36% of its economic value, says Oceana.
“I am concerned to see how sea resources in waters as close to us as the Mediterranean are exhausted without even the most basic measures in place to secure their future,” said Miguel Ángel Silvestre, in his first engagement in support of Oceana. “Without management there can be no guarantee of sustainability, and without sustainability there is no future for fishing or our oceans.”
The report highlights the unmanaged and uncontrolled exploitation in the Mediterranean, where the European Commission stresses that the vast majority of stocks are over fished, well above sustainable limits. Similar situations exist in other areas of activity of the European fishing fleet, such as the central and western South Atlantic and western Indian Ocean, where catch limits are defined for only the most valuable species such as tuna.
Oceana calls for a progressive increase in the number of managed species in order to ensure a sustainable level of exploitation. This means implementing mandatory technical and management measures based on scientific criteria or, failing that, on the precautionary principle.
“International Conventions, European regulations and national fisheries laws make explicit reference to the need and obligation to manage fisheries resources in a responsible way,” said Xavier Pastor, Executive Director of Oceana Europe. “By ignoring these obligations, we endanger not only fish stocks but also the economic and social viability of fishing.”
EU countries capturing the largest number of species:1. Portugal2. France3. Spain4. UK
Countries with the lowest proportion of managed species:1. Greece2. Italy3. Malta
Countries the highest proportion of managed species:1. Sweden2. Denmark3. Germany