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Eat, buy and sell sustainable fish says Fisheries Commissioner

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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Eat, buy and sell sustainable fish says Fisheries Commissioner

On Monday 27 January, Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, launched the European Commission's 'Inseparable' campaign to promote sustainable fishing across Europe at an event in Hamburg's International Maritime Museum, co-hosted by the city's mayor, Olaf Scholz.  The event builds on the momentum of the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy which came into force in January 2014. Damanaki urged informed citizens, members of the industry, retailers, restaurant owners and consumers to sell, buy, cook and eat only sustainable fish.
Damanaki insisted that in the fisheries sector, the environment is the economy. There is no separating the two. Fisheries Ministers of Europe understand this and just one month ago they unanimously agreed fish quotas at sustainable level. The decision means European Union (EU) have tripled the number of fish stocks fished at sustainable level in 2014 to 27 and for 2015 the EU can reach 30 fish stocks fished sustainably. Considering that EU started with 9 fish stocks only a few years ago this is a massive achievement.
The overall objective of the new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is to make fishing sustainable. The policy aims at stopping overfishing, putting an end to discarding, stopping top down decisions, making room for regionalization and giving the stakeholders a role in decision making. This message is taken up as the core principle of the Inseparable campaign which provides practical information to European consumers and other market actors on how they can eat, buy, and sell sustainable fish.
Observers say that the previous common fisheries policy was cumbersome and outdated. It prescribed everything top down and that often let vested interests prevail over environmental considerations and jobs. “In the past we assumed that whatever we did, the oceans would find a way to regenerate. But we went too far. We became entangled in the vicious circle of overfishing: less fish in the sea, more fishing, even less fish in the sea” Damanaki recalls.

Source: European Commission