WWF-UK response to Government White Paper on Common Fisheries Policy Reform18 September, 2009 – WWF-UK today welcomes the launch of the UK Governments White Paper on reforming the EU Common Fisheries Policy. The European Commission this year identified the problems facing European seas nearly two thirds of fish stocks are in decline, and many of Europes fishing fleets are incurring losses or operating at very low profitability. Government support for a radical reform of the current management scheme will be essential to ensure a healthy marine environment and a profitable fisheries sector around the UK.Giles Bartlett, Fisheries Policy Officer at WWF-UK says:There is no doubt that the current Common Fisheries Policy is failing both our fishing industry, and our marine environment, so WWF is encouraged that the UK Minister wants to lead the change. It is vital that the UK takes a strong stance on protecting our fish stocks and encourages other EU nations to follow suit. Europe now has the potential to become a leader in sustainable fisheries management.Fisheries ministers need to take a long term approach to the management of our fish stocks, instead of increasing fishing quotas at the first signs of stock recovery. Leaving more fish in the sea today will increase profitability for the sector in future years. To date only 17 of the 96 EU fish stocks are covered by long-term management plans, but with the reform of the Common Fishery Policy, we have an opportunity to ensure this is the case for every commercial fishery in Europe.