Oceana calls on MEPs to stop subsidies that fuel overfishing

Press Release Date: October 8, 2012

Location: Madrid


Oceana Web | email: webadmin@oceana.org | tel.: 202.000.0000

This week, three EU Parliament Committees will lay the foundation for the future financial mechanism for fisheries, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). Oceana urges the Members of Parliament to vote against harmful subsidies that promote overfishing and an oversized unsustainable fleet.

“Members of Parliament need to realize that without fish, there will be no more fishermen,” said Xavier Pastor, Executive Director of Oceana Europe. Pumping more ineffective, and even environmentally harmful, subsidies in a fleet that is barely profitable is a waste of public money.”

Members of Parliament in the Regional Development, Employment and Environment Committees have made proposals to include environmentally harmful subsidies in the EMFF, such as funding for building new boats, providing public subsidies for more fuel efficient engines or using public money to scrap old, economically inefficient boats. Evidence has clearly shown that these measures do little to establish a balance between the number of boats and the available resources and will therefore not save the industry from the catch 22 situation they find themselves in. Adding more boats, or making the already overfunded fleet more effective, is not a long term solution.

To date little financial support has been given to measures that ensure productive and healthy oceans. Oceana urges the prioritization of funding for marine protected areas, compliance controls and scientific evaluations of the state of stocks.

“The reform of the EMFF presents a timely opportunity to invest in the long term economic viability of the fishing industry,” added Vanya Vulperhorst, policy advisor at Oceana Europe. “The lack of scientific data that is currently paralyzing the EU fisheries decision making process has to be addressed.”

The Parliament Employment Committee will vote on October 9th, and the Regional Development and Environment Committees vote on the 10th.