European Fisheries Commissioner Highlights Commission’s Sustainable Fisheries Initiatives
3 October 2012: At a seminar on “Future Fisheries,” Maria Damanaki, the European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, noted that, although the European Union is lagging behind the rest of the world with regard to the sustainable management of fisheries resources, some progress is being made through the introduction of new management initiatives, such as new rules against illegal fishing.
Damanaki was speaking at a the seminar on 3 October 2012 in Brussels, Belgium. The seminar was organized by the University of Tromsø, Norway. She lamented that 68% of EU fish stocks are overfished, while the figure worldwide is only 25%, and further noted that, for instance, sharks can no longer be finned in the US or Taiwan, but EU legislation contains loopholes that allow the practice to continue.
However, Damanaki noted that the European Commission is acting to address these issues through, for example, proposing amendments to the EU shark finning ban that would close the existing loopholes in the legislation.
Damanaki highlighted other initiatives being undertaken by the European Commission, including the high-grading ban in the North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat, and the discard ban for the Skagerrak, as well as the adoption of a trade instrument that will allow the Commission to take additional trade measures against countries that fish shared stocks unsustainably. [EU Press Release]