The AGRI-FISH Council of the EU is gathering in Brussels on December 12th-13th to decide on annual catch limits (TACs) for the main commercial fish stocks in the Atlantic and the North Sea for 2017. Oceana recently released the most comprehensive study of EU fisheries ever and the case for recovering fish stocks is stronger than ever. The report explains that fish catches in European waters could increase by 57% if stocks were managed sustainably which would be a huge and welcome boost to struggling European fisheries.
Before the upcoming crucial negotiations, Oceana reminds fisheries ministers about the legally binding obligations of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) to recover fish stocks above healthy levels and to finally end overfishing in European waters by 2020 at the latest. Since the adoption of the Common Fisheries Policy, there has not been any significant improvements made by the fisheries ministers towards a more responsible and sustainable management of marine resources and thus more than 50% of Atlantic stocks are currently overfished. We urge EU fisheries ministers to respect scientific advice and stop delaying the recovery of the fish stocks before it’s too late.