European Commissioner for Environment Calls for End to Marine Abuse
9 October 2012: At the Fisheries (PECH) Committee meeting of the European Parliament, Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Environment, called for an end to abuse of the marine environment.
At the 9 October meeting in Brussels, Belgium, Potočnik highlighted resource-inefficient ways of living and consuming as key drivers in the degradation of marine environments. Potočnik noted two European Commission proposals for the sustainable reform of fisheries, and stressed the need to exploit EU environmental policy, including the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy, with a target explicitly addressing the integration of biodiversity concerns into fisheries.
He said the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) had been a milestone in that it affirmed a strong commitment to protect and restore the health, productivity and resilience of oceans and marine ecosystems, as well as the commitment to eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Noting that international cooperation is imperative to improve the sustainability of high seas fishing activities, Potočnik concluded by calling for an ambitious EU position at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) with regards to the issue called “introduction from the sea,” concerning which State should issue CITES documentation for species harvested on the high seas. [EC Press Release]