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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Industrial fisheries destroy livelihood of northern and southern fishermen

At the fisheries conference of northern German states in Kiel last week, the development associations Protestant Development Service (EED) and Fair Oceans demanded from German ministers to press the EU to ensure sustainable fishing of European fishermen outside of European waters. “It is not acceptable that the recent proposals for a European fisheries reform lack solutions for the improvement of the situation for local fishermen,” says Andrea Müller-Frank from EED.

“More and more foreign trawlers are active in Senegalese waters. Licenses are attributed without consideration for environmental and social consequences. Many industrial trawlers illegally enter the zones reserved for small fisheries. This is how we small fishermen are deprived of our livelihood,” says Gaoussou Gueyse, secretary general of the West African Fisheries Federation. “Future EU fisheries agreements have to promote the development of our fisheries sector and not only deplete our fish stocks,” adds Gueye.

Since nowadays more than half of all European fisheries imports come from developing countries, Germany’s responsibility for the fisheries sector in target countries is growing. “The ministries assembled in Kiel have to push for an EU fisheries reform that reduces European dependency on imports and reestablishes fish stocks in the North Sea and Baltic Sea in an environmentally sustainable way,” says Fair Oceans’ Kai Kaschinski.