European Fish Week launched 07 June, 2010 – Maria Damanaki
A YEAR after OCEAN2012 came to life, and coinciding with World Oceans Day tomorrow (8 June), the 70-member coalition dedicated to transforming European fisheries policy is launching the first ever European Fish Week.
As a result of decades of chronic overfishing, the European Union has seen dramatic decreases in its stocks and has become the worlds largest importer of fisheries products, with nearly 70 per cent of its fish coming from outside the union, according to the EU Commission. During this week of action (until 13 June), groups across Europe will hold activities to highlight the importance of the EUs Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform. Their focus will be a petition asking Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Commissioner Maria Damanaki to prioritise environmental sustainability in her anticipated outline of reform options.
We are very excited by the launch of European Fish Week, said Uta Bellion, director of the Pew Environment Groups European Marine Programme and OCEAN2012 co-ordinator.
Membership of OCEAN2012 has grown rapidly over the last 12 months, showing that people all over Europe are keen to impress on decision makers the urgent need to stop overfishing. During Fish Week they will be calling for a CFP that prioritises environmental sustainability as a way of safeguarding the marine environment and fisheries dependent communities.
We are petitioning Commissioner Damanaki to put the environment first in order to improve the state of fish stocks and fishers. Europeans will want to see that their opinions have been taken on board in the CFP reform options she presents in the coming weeks.