Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα fishing overcapacity. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα fishing overcapacity. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Τετάρτη, Δεκεμβρίου 17, 2014

Agreement over EU fishing quotas for 2015

The EU Commission had been proposing very sharp cuts to Irish quotas, including a 20% reduction in whitefish quota and a 14% reduction in prawn quotas

However, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said he is relieved to have delivered a much improved outcome.


The prawn quota has been increased by 3%, while the hake quota has also seen an 11% increase.

However, quotas for haddock and whiting have both been reduced by 12%, with a 13% reduction in cod quota.

Mr Coveney said the quotas which have now been agreed will be worth €123m to Irish whitefish fishermen next year, which is a small increase on this year.

The Minister said that an initiative from the Irish fishing industry to use new fishing gear that will allow more young fish to escape and reduce discards of haddock and whiting into the Celtic Sea by 4,000 tonnes per year greatly assisted in getting the sever EU proposed cuts reduced.

Fishermen’s representatives have described the outcome from the talks as disappointing.

Caitlin Uí Aodha, who represents fishermen in the south-east, said that the quota cuts in the Celtic Sea would only result in more discarding of fish at sea.

She added that these reductions will put further pressure on fishermen who are already finding it difficult to make a living.

Sean O'Donoghue, chairman of the Federation of Irish Fishermen, said that a zero quota for herring of the north-west was concerning and must be revisited in the New Year as it was unnecessary.He also said that the current quota management structure was “not fit for purpose” and called for a decommissioning scheme to reduce the numbers of boats at sea.

 [rte.ie]
16/12/14

Παρασκευή, Οκτωβρίου 03, 2014

Commission proposes moderate decrease in deep-sea fishing opportunities 2015-2016 to protect vulnerable species

European Commission, Press release, Brussels, 3 October 2014:

The European Commission has today proposed fishing opportunities for deep-sea fish stocks in EU and international waters in the North-East Atlantic for 2015-2016. In line with scientific advice, the Commission proposes an increase of total allowable catches (TACs) for 4 stocks, a decrease for 9 stocks, and a status quo for 5 stocks as compared to 2014. For 4 stocks, mainly deep-sea sharks, the proposal does not yet contain a figure, because scientific advice will be delivered later this month.

European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, said: "Deep sea ecosystems and fish stocks are particularly vulnerable to human activities, such as fishing, and need appropriate protection. Hence, sustainable management is the only way we can ensure the future of deep-sea fisheries. It is good news that the scientific advice allows for increases for a number of these stocks, but unfortunately the situation is bleak for most other stocks. We look forward to continue working with the Member States to improve the knowledge on these stocks, and to work towards sustainable deep-sea fisheries."
 
For the important stock of Roundnose grenadiers West of the British Isles, scientific advice on how to achieve Maximum Sustainable Yield is available. Based on this, the Commission proposes a moderate cut for this stock (-12%), which should allow it to be fished at sustainable levels in 2015. For 2016 a small increase will be possible (+2%). For 4 stocks of Greater forkbeard, the Commission proposes 10% increases. 

For a number of other stocks, data is limited and a precautionary approach implies significant cuts to protect the stocks. This is especially the case for Red seabream in the areas West of Portugal and around the Azores. The scientific advice for the area West Portugal even calls for the development of a recovery plan.

The Commission's proposals are based on scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES). However, available data for most deep-sea stocks are insufficient to allow scientists to fully assess the stock status, either in terms of number of fish or fishing mortality. 

Background
Deep-sea fish are slow-growing and long-lived, which makes them particularly vulnerable to fishing. They are caught in waters beyond the main fishing grounds of continental shelves. They are distributed on the continental slopes or associated with seamounts.
Fishing for deep-sea species has been regulated by the European Union since 2003. Deep-sea fisheries account for about 1% of fish landed from the North-East Atlantic. The catches – and related jobs - have been declining for years, due to depleted stocks.
The poor state of key deep-sea stocks and the lack of scientific data clearly demonstrates that a better management framework for deep-sea fisheries, as proposed by the Commission in 2012 (see IP/12/813), remains highly necessary.
 http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-1084_en.htm?locale=en
3/10/14

Σάββατο, Σεπτεμβρίου 20, 2014

FISHERIES CONTROL: PORTUGAL, FRANCE, SPAIN, ITALY, LATVIA AND MALTA NOW PLAYING BY COMMON RULES

To achieve sustainable fishing, the revised rules of the Common Fisheries Policy need to be fully respected. But how can we ensure that they are in practice?

Well, by efficient and harmonised control systems.

In a spirit of subsidiarity, fisheries control means are agreed at EU level, but need to be concretely implemented on the ground by national authorities. Therefore, to guarantee a level playing field between fishermen, the European Commission checks how Member States implement their common obligations. It also provides Member States with support, where necessary, so that their control systems meet the European requirements. For the development of IT tools or the reinforcement of existing control systems the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund can provide substantial financing.

For instance, the Portuguese Action Plan proposed last Thursday is part of a broader scheme to collaborate with Member States. With France, Spain, Italy, Latvia and Malta we have already agreed on specific Action Plans to fill missing links or reinforce the effectiveness of their controls. So doing, we ensure that we all play by the same rules, a prerequisite to preserve the sustainability of our marine resources.
http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/damanaki/fisheries-control-portugal-france-spain-italy-latvia-and-malta-now-playing-by-common-rules/
19/9/14
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Πέμπτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 18, 2014

Enforcing fisheries rules: Questions and answers on new Portuguese control action plan

European Commission, MEMO, Brussels, 18 September 2014:

What does this action plan seek to achieve?
Effective fisheries control is essential for the sustainability of European fisheries. This is best achieved if all fishermen in the EU play by the same rules. To that end, the Commission is working with all the Member states individually to bring their national control system up to European standards. Where general, systemic shortcomings are identified action plans are drawn up to identify steps needed to address these shortcomings.

The Portuguese action plan focuses largely on the catch registration system, with the aim to ensure that the essential data required to effectively monitor catches are complete, reliable and available in a timely manner. For example, measures within the action plan include the development of IT tools to enable more effective data collection, sharing and analyses. A fully functioning catch registration system is essential for national control authorities to monitor that fishing quotas are respected and overfishing avoided.
Several measures in the plan aim to re-establish the chain of control, and the flow of catch data between mainland Portugal's fisheries authorities and those of the Portuguese offshore archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira.
Also included are measures which focus on Portugal's inspection activities, to support a more robust control system; for instance the introduction of risk assessment as a tool to enable strategic use of inspection resources and the improvement of coordination and resource sharing between the different authorities involved in inspection activities (Navy, Air force, National Republican Guard (GNR), and the fisheries authorities of the Azores and Madeira).
In addition, there are measures which aim to inform fishing communities, raise awareness and ultimately increase the degree of compliance by the fishing industry.
Which other countries have an action plan in place?
Before today's announcement action plans have already been agreed with Malta, Spain, Italy, France, and Latvia whilst others are in the pipeline for Bulgaria and Romania.
Malta
  1. The Maltese Action Plan, adopted in 2011, seeks to improve the control systems for Bluefin Tuna due to identified shortcomings in catch monitoring. Malta's was the first administrative inquiry followed by an action plan jointly monitored with the Commission.
  2. Since the fishery concerned was subject to a recovery plan, the actions in the action plan increased the overall compliance of the EU with ICCAT rules and produced a management plan with control measures approved by the international community. These include real time monitoring and a significant deployment of inspectors.
  3. The action plan puts Malta in line with ICCAT's long term recovery plan for Bluefin tuna.
Spain
  1. The Spanish action plan, adopted in 2012, was triggered by the problems identified in their catch registration system, in particular in relation to the late collection of control data, the lack of coordination between control authorities and data reliability.
  2. With the quota system depending on accurate data to avoid overfishing, the Commission worked with the Spanish authorities to improve the operations of their systems. Based on the action plan the Spanish authorities have set up a coordination mechanism between the central authorities and the Autonomous Communities. They have totally reshaped their catch registration system and have developed effective IT tools. Other concrete actions taken by Spain include the restriction of fishing possibilities for vessels having exceeded their quota, for instance in the hake fishery.
  3. The focus of inspections in Spain has been significantly improved by risk driven control strategy and joint operations between the Autonomous Communities inspectors, Guardia civil, Navy and the state fishery inspection services. This has significantly reduced the risk of overfishing mackerel compared to previous years.
Italy
  1. Italy's Action Plan, adopted in 2013, focuses on overcoming some malfunctioning in the monitoring, control and inspection of its fishing activities under the CFP identified in 2010 and 2011, including the use of illegal driftnets.
  2. It focuses mainly on control systems for highly migratory species. Intensified control activities are therefore conducted for the large pelagic fisheries, both within the framework of the Bluefin tuna recovery plan and the swordfish closed seasons.
  3. Driftnets sanctioning procedures were also incorporated into the action plan which is currently in its first stage of implementation.
France
  • The French action plan, adopted in June 2014 (IP/14/644), focuses on the catch registration system in order to ensure that the data available to national controllers is complete, reliable and timely.
  • It consolidates measures already taken by France and also includes measures such as the development of IT tools.
Latvia
  1. Following Commission audits revealing shortcomings in Latvia's control system, in particular in terms its administrative structure and resource availability, an action plan was jointly designed with the Latvian authorities.
  2. Latvia's action plan, adopted in 2013, has achieved significant progress in allocating additional human resources and setting administrative, legal and technical structures to implement CFP rules. IT structures have also improved and control procedures streamlined.
An administrative inquiry is ongoing in Bulgaria and in Romania to tackle shortcomings identified in their turbot fishery. The objective is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the root causes of these failures in order to identify concrete remedial actions that will be carried out in an agreed timetable. Depending on the outcome, action plans could be adopted in due course.
What if a Member State does not follow through with its Action Plan commitments?
Where there is no, or insufficient, action taken by the Member State within the deadlines fixed in the action plan, the Commission could start infringement proceedings.
Who does what in the EU fisheries control system?
Fisheries rules and control systems are agreed on at EU level, but implemented by the national authorities and inspectors of EU Member States. The day-to-day enforcement of the rules is for the national authorities: national inspectorates monitor for instance what gear is being used, or how many tonnes of fish are caught and then landed.
To encourage closer collaboration and exchange of best practices, the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) in Vigo, Spain, organises joint control campaigns, where inspectors from different EU countries work together.
The Commission has its own body of inspectors, but they do not police the fishermen directly. Rather, their role is to inspect the control systems put in place by the Member States, and make sure that the CFP rules are enforced effectively and fairly across the whole of the EU. In that capacity they also can participate in national inspections. In order to be able to assess the reality on the ground the Commission inspectors carry out both announced and unannounced inspections in Member States.
What has the Commission done on control since the Regulation came into force?
The Commission has tackled non-compliance issues by issuing 45 warning pilot letters to Member States previously identified in preliminary infringement proceedings. Most of these cases have been satisfactorily resolved.
However, systemic control deficiencies identified in audits cannot always be addressed effectively in individual basis, and require an action plan with a set of complementary corrective measures. The results of this work can be seen today with the Portuguese action plan, the previous adoption of similar plans in Malta, Spain, Italy, France and Latvia, and the plans in preparation with regard to Bulgaria and Romania. All of these constitute concrete, detailed roadmaps for the improvement of control systems.
The aim was to move away from cases involving structural issues requiring adaptations to complex administrative systems to a more cooperative and collaborative way of working with Member States than in more traditional infringement cases, which can take a longer period of time before yielding results on the ground. Action Plans are one way of demonstrating this approach. In order to be able to assess the reality on the ground the Commission also carries out both announced and unannounced inspections in Member States.
Other important milestones in the development of the Control Regulation include coordinated inspections by means of Joint Deployment Plans and data exchange programmes between Member States and the European Fisheries Control Agency. Moreover, a new a Fisheries Expert Group on Compliance will be established, following the CFP Reform, to allow the Commission and Member States to strengthen and simplify control implementation in an open and transparent way.
Is control funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund?
Yes, the new EMFF €690 million control budget almost doubles the amount made available for control. Out of this amount, € 580 million has been ring-fenced to support the development of control programmes such as these action plans.........http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-14-532_en.htm?locale=en
18/9/14
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Δευτέρα, Ιουλίου 14, 2014

Marine experts urge Australians to eat more sea urchins to save environment (is said to contain euphoria-causing chemicals similar to that found in cannabis)

Marine experts are urging Australians to eat more sea urchins and help the environment at the same time, local media reported on Monday.

Australian sea urchin fishermen are doing great business with the Chinese market, but researchers hope Australians can develop a taste for the seafood in order to create more demand, the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) reported.

If there was more demand, more sea urchins would be removed from sensitive reef areas where they are devouring kelp and in turn depleting lobster and abalone stocks.


In Australia, the sea urchin is yet to find favor with locals, but researcher Philip Hayward said they are a tasty treat.

"When they're fresh it almost deliquesces in your mouth, you feel it kind of fizzing and dissolving," he said.

"A Japanese colleague, one of his turn of phrases was 'eating a raw sea urchin was like sharing an intimate kiss with the ocean'."

  • The sea creature is a staple in Pacific islanders' diets, high in omega three, low in calories, an aphrodisiac and is said to contain euphoria-causing chemicals similar to that found in cannabis.
He said given the havoc they cause to reefs, commercial harvesting might prove a far more effective control strategy than the millions of dollars being poured into smashing, baiting and relocation programs.

"The funding that comes for them is for short-term initiatives, but as soon as leave them then they'll start re-growing there," he said.

"You really need an approach which sees people regularly going to actually remove these."

 Sources: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
14/7/14
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Δευτέρα, Ιουνίου 30, 2014

Στοπ στην επιδότηση της υπεραλίευσης

Να επανεξετάσουν τις πολιτικές τους λαμβάνοντας υπόψη τις αρνητικές συνέπειες της υπεραλίευσης στους ωκεανούς κάλεσε τα κράτη μέλη της Ε.Ε. η επίτροπος Θαλάσσιας Πολιτικής και Αλιείας Μαρία Δαμανάκη.
Η Ελληνίδα επίτροπος σημείωσε ότι οι σχετικές κοινοτικές χρηματοδοτήσεις που ενίσχυαν την υπεραλίευση έχουν ήδη διακοπεί, υπογράμμισε ωστόσο ότι οι εθνικές επιδοτήσεις χωρών όπως η Ισπανία, η Γαλλία, η Βρετανία κ.ά. είναι της τάξεως του ενός δισ. ευρώ ετησίως.


Η Μ. Δαμανάκη δήλωσε επίσης ότι η Επιτροπή υποστηρίζει τις ενέργειες της διεθνούς οργάνωσης «Παγκόσμιος Ωκεανός» για τη βελτίωση του ελέγχου των δραστηριοτήτων στην ανοιχτή θάλασσα. 

http://www.zougla.gr/politiki/article/stop-stin-epidotisi-tis-iperaliefsis
30/6/14
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  • Global solutions to save the world's oceans (Maria Damanaki) ...

“Re-energising the Oceans” conference
Brussels, 30 June 2014:

....."Within the EU we have introduced transformational change with regard to fisheries. Since 1/1/2014 we have a new common fisheries policy, sustainable and science based, phasing out discarding and implementing the same principles for European vessels worldwide. Through this new policy we have banned all types of subsidies at European level, that lead to overcapacity and overfishing. Our European fund has no granting for fuel subsidies at all.
Allow me now to come to a global problem also mentioned in GOC report: illegal fisheries
Illegal fishing has to be eradicated from the high seas, and this is why the EU uses its diplomatic weight to push for rules like the UNCLOS or the United Nations Fish Stock Agreement to be enforced worldwide.
We also use our considerable market weight and I'm grateful to the Global Oceans Commission for highlighting this important aspect in its paper. In practice the EU requires that any fish import be accompanied by a catch certificate. In other words the fish has to be caught legally; otherwise it won't get into our market. And we go further.
We work with other world nations to promote compliance with international law. When a country clearly does not respect its international obligations, we give them a fair warning and time to set things straight. We have done so with 13 countries in the last two years. Ten of them then complied, but three didn’t. So earlier this year the EU adopted our first ever trade ban with Cambodia, Belize and Guinea Conakry.
In just over four years the EU has become the frontrunner in the fight against IUU and we are making a difference. Many third countries are now taking their international duties much seriously.
The EU is also stepping up its efforts to address the marine litter problem. It has agreed to set a reduction target for marine litter by 2020, to move towards Rio + 20 commitments. We In European Commission are going to propose this target soon.
On offshore oil and gas the EU has put in place the highest risk based standards for operation within its territory. We well come of course binding efforts for reducing risk, as well as ensuring effective emerging response, regardless of where operations take place, in line with the polluter pays principle."..............http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-14-524_en.htm?locale=en
30/6/14

Παρασκευή, Μαΐου 23, 2014

BLUEFIN TUNA: THE LONG PATH OF RECOVERY

Bluefin Tuna is an emblematic species, fished and appreciated all across the globe. But when I took office four years ago, the state of the stocks was extremely alarming. We were exporting and eating more bluefin tuna than we were expected to catch!

In 2012 we managed to take action at global level: we implemented, within the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), a very strict recovery plan based on advice by scientists.

Quotas have been reduced, our fleet has become smaller and the fishing period has been shortened – this year, it will start next Monday 26 May and already close a month later, on 24 June.

The rules are there, but work remains to be done. We will only be able to preserve bluefin tuna if all actors play by the rules and put the priority on controls. 


The European Commission, the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) and Member States dedicate tremendous resources to enforce the rules. For the 2014 season, we will deploy sea and air patrols to control that the fishing season and quotas are respected. We will monitor catches and inspect caging operations in tuna farms and, if required, take the necessary action to avoid overfishing.

Today we can already see first signs that efforts are paying off. The situation is very different from 2010 when the stock was close to extinction. I am confident that we are on the right path – the path to recovery.

23/5/14 

Δευτέρα, Μαΐου 19, 2014

Fish more important than ever in providing jobs, feeding the world. – UN report

UN, 19 May 2014 – A new United Nations report highlights the growing role of fish and aquaculture in feeding the world and providing a source of income, and calls for the sustainable and responsible management of the so-called ‘blue world.’

Global fisheries and aquaculture production totalled 158 million tonnes in 2012 – around 10 million tonnes more than 2010 – according to the latest edition of “The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture,” produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).


The report highlights the great potential of fish farming in responding to the growing demand for food as a result of global population growth. In addition, the planet’s oceans – if sustainably managed – are crucial to providing jobs and feeding the world.

“The health of our planet as well as our own health and future food security all hinge on how we treat the blue world,” FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said in a news release.

“We need to ensure that environmental well-being is compatible with human well-being in order to make long-term sustainable prosperity a reality for all,” he noted, adding that FAO is committed to promoting ‘Blue Growth,’ which is based on the sustainable and responsible management of aquatic resources.

FAO notes that the renewed focus on the so-called ‘blue world’ comes as the share of fisheries production used for food has grown from about 70 per cent in the 1980s to a record high of more than 85 per cent (136 million tonnes) in 2012. At the same time, per capita fish consumption has soared from 10 kilogrammes in the 1960s to more than 19 kilogrammes in 2012.

The new report also says fish now accounts for almost 17 per cent of the global population’s intake of protein – in some coastal and island countries it can top 70 per cent.

FAO estimates that fisheries and aquaculture support the livelihoods of 10 to 12 per cent of the world’s population. Since 1990 employment in the sector has grown at a faster rate than the world’s population and in 2012 provided jobs for some 60 million people. Of these, 84 per cent were employed in Asia, followed by Africa with about 10 per cent.

Among other findings in the report are that just over 70 per cent of wild fish stocks are being fished within biologically sustainable levels; fish remains among the most traded food commodities worldwide, worth almost $130 billion in 2012; and an estimated 1.3 billion tonnes of food are lost per year – to about one-third of all food produced.

[un.org]
19/5/14
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Τετάρτη, Μαΐου 07, 2014

Fish farmed in the EU: a healthy, fresh and local alternative

Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Brussels, 7 May 2014:

Aquaculture Event at Seafood Expo Global - 
"Ladies and Gentlemen,
I will be brief… I can see many of you are eyeing up the delicious samples on offer here and this is precisely the purpose today: showcase our "EU farmed fish"! I am delighted to be here today to highlight the benefits of eating, fresh, locally produced fish. In other words, fish farmed here in the EU. When I say "fish", I mean of course both finfish and shellfish.

I know I am preaching a convinced audience here. But the growing demand, especially for Omega 3 rich fish, cannot be met by simply fishing more out of the sea. There are simply not enough fish out there and our fish stocks are still reeling from years of overfishing.

Sustainably farmed fish can alleviate this pressure. Sustainable farming means producing while ensuring that our waters stay clean, our ecosystems rich and healthy and that consumer protection and social rules are respected. Future generations have the same right as we have to enjoy our seas, rivers and lakes. Young people should be also given credible expectations to find jobs in thriving companies selling tasty products.

You know it, only 10% of our EU consumption is also farmed in the EU. Much of the imported seafood travels long distances from remote places around the world to reach our tables. Fish farmed in the EU represents an excellent local, sustainable alternative. Initiatives like the Italian "Chilometro Zero" are also based on this very same logic. We want to spread this message of the quality of our EU products.

This fresh farmed fish meets not only our high consumer protection requirements, but also the quality standards in taste and texture demanded by "top chefs". Top chefs like Mr Vissani and Mr MacGillivray, who I am delighted to welcome here today to tell us why they use farmed fish in their cooking. And I hope to learn a few tasty tips which I can bring home.
So before I have a chat with our special guests, let me leave you with two messages: Firstly, look out for our exciting project with schools from across Europe later in the year to promote aquaculture.

Secondly, I would encourage you all to help us spreading the gospel about our locally farmed European fish. Not only does it help us protect wild fish stocks but is also healthy, sustainable and, as our two chefs are about to tell us, tasty!"
[europa.eu]
6/5/14
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Πέμπτη, Μαΐου 01, 2014

Maria Damanaki: FARMED IN THE EU. -LET’S TALK ABOUT SUSTAINABLE AQUACULTURE

Eating fish has many health benefits. It is good for the heart, packed with protein and is an excellent source of nutrients. But the demand for such healthy food grows. And we cannot meet this demand by simply fishing more from our wild fish stocks.

This is why fish farming can contribute to alleviate this pressure, by increasing the offer of sustainable seafood. And also of healthy seafood:

fish farmers have to follow EU environmental and health standards which are the strictest of the world. Besides, currently only 10% of our seafood consumption in the EU is farmed locally as we import the majority of the seafood we eat. But EU aquaculture provides us with fresh, locally farmed fish and seafood. And this is a great contribution to the development of our local economies.

Next week I’ll visit the Global Seafood Expo in Brussels to meet the stakeholders and talk about the promising sector of fish farming. And my pledge will be clear: European aquaculture is local, fresh and contributes to a sustainable future for European fisheries......Maria Damanaki's blog - European Commission

2/5/14
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Σάββατο, Απριλίου 26, 2014

NO EXCUSES: WE NEED TO PROTECT THE ANTARCTIC. - Only less than one percent of the world’s oceans are currently set aside as “protected”

Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries:

"Did you know that only less than one percent of the world’s oceans are currently set aside as “protected”? Only a handful of those areas are spared human interference altogether. Today’s International Penguin Day reminds us of the need to protect Antarctic habitats before it’s too late. If we are to save the last remaining pockets of pristine ocean and the thousands of unique species living there, we need to act fast.

Some progress has been made: through international efforts, the first marine protected area in the Southern Ocean was adopted in 2009. Near the South Orkney Islands fishing is now banned except for scientific purposes. We are still on a learning curve and it may be a few years before it runs completely smoothly. But in the meantime the site’s krill and squids will have fed generations of Antarctic penguins. We are now moving to the next step – there are currently proposals to protect the waters of East Antarctica and the Ross Sea before the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) that deserve international support. A decision could be taken in October already.

The fact that these areas are part of the common good does not grant us a free pass to do nothing. On the contrary: the EU is also fighting for an international agreement to cover precisely those areas which fall through the net of direct responsibility of any one country. And we are aiming for this by next year.

Turning back the clock on ecosystems is an urgent matter, and one that I’m not comfortable postponing. No excuse there."

http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/damanaki/no-excuses-we-need-to-protect-the-antarctic/
25/4/14
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Τετάρτη, Μαρτίου 19, 2014

THEY SAY OLD HABITS DIE HARD…

From fish egg to adult fish, all species follow important stages of development. And we definitely need to respect this life cycle. Even more now that the state of the stocks is alarming in the Mediterranean.
The maths are simple: for one juvenile left in the sea today we will have a new generation tomorrow. For example, a juvenile codfish reaches 10 cm, weights 5.4 grams and has no chance to reproduce. A mature codfish of 80 cm weights in average 3.6 kilos and produces 657 eggs. And if we let these new 657 juveniles grow up to maturity, we could fish in the end up to 2400 kilos of codfish. In other words, fishing juveniles is completely illogical.

Cultural change needs to happen in the Mediterranean. Indeed, the regional gastronomy still frequently features juvenile fish despite its catastrophic consequences. We have set minimum fishing size for several species and minimum mesh sizes for nets within the Mediterranean Regulation. We have put sustainability at the core of our renewed Common Fisheries Policy. But this is not enough. We need deep changes in our mind-sets.
I do think that a complementary solution lies with each and every one of us. We all need to act by our own means to stop eating juveniles. Fishermen need to commit to respect minimum size, fishmongers and retailers to stop selling undersized fish, consumers to pay attention to labelling and to the fish they choose.
They say old habits die hard. But I am convinced that well informed consumers and conscious professionals can put an end to harmful juvenile consumption.
Maria Damanaki's blog 
19/3/14
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Σάββατο, Μαρτίου 15, 2014

Less is More: We Need a Global Strategy to End Fishing Overcapacity

The global ocean, from the coast to the high seas, is facing multiple threats. We rely on the ocean for food, for transport, for the very air we breathe, but the current systems in place for governing and managing its resources are not fit for purpose. As a result, fish stocks are being depleted, rich biodiversity is at risk and illegal fishing vessels threaten the food security of whole nations. It is our economies that suffer -- depletion of fish stocks alone costs the global economy an estimated $50 billion per year.

The root of the problem is fishing overcapacity: too many boats chasing too few fish. Most problematic are the thousands of powerful, modern boats, equipped with high-tech tools able to find fish almost anywhere. But the more fish these boats take out, the fewer fish there are that can reproduce, and the more fishers must turn to potent tools to find them.

To break this vicious circle, since the 1990s the EU has shifted away from expanding the EU fishing fleet and is instead focusing support in the opposite direction -- adapting it to natural resources. The EU's fleet has been reduced by 25 percent since 2000.

Fishing less can be economically smarter. Reducing pressure on fish populations enables them to recover and thrive, making fishing easier and increasing the industry's profits as well as the welfare of coastal communities. Europe badly needs smart economics like this right now, just as it needs a stable supply of fresh and healthy seafood. Globally, with 83 percent of high seas fishing being carried out by developed countries, the principle of the freedom of the high seas is manifestly inequitable.

Of course, scrapping fishing vessels is not the only, or even the best, way to reduce capacity. The solution must be a well-designed mix of structural and conservation tools, rights-based management systems, tighter controls and, especially, incentives for diversification. After all, boats that go out fishing can also go out collecting litter or be put to good use for tourism.

Nor can overcapacity be reversed without specifically dealing with the vast subsidies that have driven it -- both globally and in the EU. Global fisheries subsidies are estimated at approximately $35 billion a year, over $20 billion of which are capacity-enhancing. Without this distortion, many fishing enterprises would simply not be profitable, and other industries and jobs would emerge in their stead.

The recent reform of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy addresses all these issues and will help eradicate the remaining pockets of overcapacity in the European fleet. Subsidies have been redesigned to promote sustainable fisheries and prohibit any support that risks increasing capacity. The reform will also ensure that when European vessels fish outside EU waters they only fish within scientifically safe margins and only after the needs of nearby coastal state fleets have been met.

The EU is putting a stop to fishing overcapacity. Now this needs to happen at a global level. To achieve the right balance between fishing power and natural resources, all global actors need to pull together. International rules and processes exist but -- all too often -- only on paper and not in practice. These glaring gaps in ocean governance, especially on the high seas, were the motivation behind the creation of the Global Ocean Commission in 2013.

Some battles are being won, with annual quotas and capacity limits for Bluefin tuna in the Atlantic and Mediterranean now set in accordance with scientific advice, or the capacity freeze on tropical tunas in the Pacific. Other struggles persist, such as monitoring better compliance. With a third of all commercial fish stocks over-exploited and a further half fully exploited, it is disheartening to watch while some nations still heavily subsidize their vessel and processing capacity or continue to expand their fleets.

There is no shortage of rules and guidance: we have an FAO International Plan of Action on overcapacity; we have joint recommendations by regional organisations managing tuna on how to reduce and transfer capacity; and the World Trade Organization also has a mandate to negotiate rules to prevent harmful subsidies. But we badly need a stronger political thrust for these plans to be systematically enforced, for words on paper to be translated into action. The Global Ocean Commission is currently developing a set of cost-effective, pragmatic and politically feasible proposals for strengthening ocean governance and enforcement, and building a coalition able to act on them.

Action means using advanced technology to assess and monitor worldwide capacity, like a global record of all vessels based on a mandatory single system of vessel identification; it means official agreements and systems for enforcement able to impose strict sanctions; it can also mean voluntary and joint efforts by major fishing nations like the ones set up to combat illegal fishing.

Above all, we need a coherent and global approach to ocean governance and management that also encompasses development and trade policy.

It is high time the world addressed excessive global fishing power. This is why the European Commission is inviting Fisheries Ministers from around the globe to meet in Thessaloniki on 13 and 14 March 2014: to ride the momentum of the reforms in the EU and drive the international debate forward. Let's work together to make both our ecosystems and our economies sustainable.
 http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/damanaki/less-is-more-we-need-a-global-strategy-to-end-fishing-overcapacity/
13/3/14
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