Commission must heed fish stocks warning, says WWF – Fishupdate.com

Commission must heed fish stocks warning, says WWF Published:  08 June, 2007

SCIENTISTS from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) have rung the alarm bell for many European fish stocks on World Ocean Day, according to conservation organisation WWF.

According to the report that ICES released today, fishing pressure must be decreased on cod, whiting, herring, plaice, redfish and Baltic salmon stocks in European waters next year, in order to rebuild these declining populations.

Given continued low levels of stocks, the scientists recommend no direct fishing on cod in the North Sea, in the Eastern Baltic Sea and the Kattegat. The same goes for redfish in the Barents and Norwegian Seas. The scientists also urge for a reduction in quota on herring, whiting and plaice in the North Sea, and advise that quotas for Baltic Sea salmon should not be increased.

WWF says the European Commission and EU Fisheries Ministers will have to seriously consider the warning and address management of the stocks accordingly before the end of the year.

“The Commission’s good will and soothing words are not enough to remedy the poor state of many Europe’s fish stocks”, says Aaron McLoughlin, Head of WWF European Marine Programme. “The necessary steps towards sustainable fisheries are still missing and it is deeply worrying to hear scientists coming back each year with evidence on stocks in trouble. There is still too little progress being made.”

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