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Wednesday, 17 February 2010

The urgently needed reform of the Common Fisheries Policy

European seas are emptying of valuable fish - more than 80% of assessed fish stocks in EU waters are overfished and 30% are outside safe biological limits. As a result, the fishing sector is suffering and fishing communities struggle to make a living. The long-term environmental consequences are yet to be determined. However all is not lost, as a recently launched reform of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy is up for completion by 2012. Fish stocks can be rebuilt and the fishing sector can once again thrive, at least in the medium and long term. Be warned though, this isn't the first attempt at reform. The most recent occurred in 2002. The Commission then cited "dwindling fish stocks, diminishing catches, too many vessels chasing too few fish, steady job losses and a lack of effective control and sanctions" among the chronic problems facing European fisheries. Five years after the 2002 reform, however, the European Court of Auditors still identified "poor profitability and steadily declining employment" in the fishing sector, and many of the problems observed then by the European Commission still plague the industry.

Source: EU Observer